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Quarterly Progress Report on Salmonella and Campylobacter Testing of Selected Raw Meat and Poultry Products: Preliminary Results, April 2015 to June 2015

Attachments to this report:

Executive Summary

In May 2015, FSIS began testing poultry carcasses under new project codes (HC_CH_CARC01 and HC_TU_CARC01) related to PR/HACCP verification testing and discontinued the previous set-based verification projects (HC11_BR and HC11_TU). Results from both types of testing are presented in this report, with the set-based testing referred to as either "Young Chickens" or "Set-based Young Chicken Testing" or either "Young Turkeys" or "Set-based Young Turkey Testing." The newer projects are referred to as either "Moving window-based Young Chicken Carcasses" or "Moving window-based Young Turkey Carcasses."

  • There were 148 samples collected and analyzed for Salmonella in the original set-based PR/HACCP verification program, and 1402 samples analyzed for new moving window-based PR/HACCP verification projects (HC_CH_CARC01 and HC_TU_CARC01) on Young Chicken Carcasses and Young Turkey Carcasses.
    • Set-based Young Chicken Testing – 8.5% (106 samples analyzed from the original program)
    • Set-based Young Turkey Testing – 0% (42 samples analyzed from the original program)
    • Moving window-based Young Chicken Carcasses – 2.3% (1134 samples analyzed from new projects)
    • Moving window-based Young Turkey Carcasses – 1.1% (268 samples analyzed from new projects)
  • There were 147 carcass samples also analyzed for Campylobacter from the original PR/HACCP verification program, and 1392 samples analyzed for new projects (HC_CH_CARC01 and HC_TU_CARC01):
    • Set-based Young Chicken Testing – 2.8% (106 samples analyzed from the original program)
    • Set-based Young Turkey Testing – 2.4% (41 samples analyzed from the original program)
    • Moving window-based Young Chicken Carcasses – 3.0% (1125 samples analyzed from new projects)
    • Moving window-based Young Turkey Carcasses – 0.7% (267 samples analyzed from new projects)
  • With the publication of “Changes to the Salmonella and Campylobacter Verification Testing Program: Proposed Performance Standards for Salmonella and Campylobacter in Not-Ready-to-Eat Comminuted Chicken and Turkey Products and Raw Chicken Parts and Related Agency Verification Procedures and Other Changes to Agency Sampling,” 80 FR 3940 (March 10, 2015), FSIS has suspended the categorization of establishments until such time as changes to FSIS sampling programs have been implemented. These changes are expected to be fully implemented by the end of May, 2016. Not- Ready-To-Eat (NRTE) Comminuted Poultry Sampling Projects were discontinued after May 2015. The cumulative results for ground, other comminuted, and mechanically separated poultry samples from April 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015 from these projects are:
    • Salmonella positive– 41.6% (338 out of 812 samples), 52.9% of NRTE comminuted chicken (286 out of 541 samples), and 19.2% of NRTE comminuted turkey (52 out of 271 samples).
    • Campylobacter positive – 6.2% (50 out of 811 samples), 9.1% of NRTE comminuted chicken (49 out of 540 samples), and 0.4% of NRTE comminuted turkey (1 out of 271 samples).
  • Small production volume beef establishments which were sampled under the MT43S program are now being analyzed under the MT43 (raw ground beef) sampling program for both E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella. [1] A total of 2947 samples were analyzed in the raw ground beef sampling program. Of those, 43 (1.5%) were positive for Salmonella.
  • Out of 1652 samples analyzed in the eight other domestic MT sampling projects, 41 samples (2.5%) were Salmonella positive, while in imported raw beef products tested, only two samples of 181 (1.1%) were positive for Salmonella .
  • There were 227 positive out of 898 samples analyzed for Salmonella (25.3%) for Chicken Parts, and 124 positive out of 883 samples analyzed for Campylobacter (14.0%) for Chicken Parts.
  • There were 23 positive out of 96 samples analyzed for Salmonella (24.0%) from a new sampling project for Ground and Other Comminuted Chicken (not Mechanically Separated), and 13 positive out of 77 analyzed samples (16.9%) for Salmonella from a new sampling project for Ground and Other Comminuted Turkey (not Mechanically Separated), 5 positive of 5 samples analyzed (100%) from Exploratory Sampling for Mechanically Separated Chicken, and 2 positive out of 5 samples analyzed (40.0%) from Exploratory Sampling for Mechanically Separated Turkey since May of 2015.
  • There were 3 positive out of 96 samples analyzed for Campylobacter (3.1%) from Ground and Other Comminuted Chicken (not Mechanically Separated), and 0 positive out of 76 analyzed samples (0%) for Campylobacter from Ground and Other Comminuted Turkey (not Mechanically Separated), 0 positive of 5 Campylobacter samples analyzed (0%) from Exploratory Sampling for Mechanically Separated Chicken, and 0 positive out of 5 Campylobacter samples analyzed (0%) from Exploratory Sampling for Mechanically Separated Turkey since May of 2015.

This report discusses the Salmonella and Campylobacter verification sampling results for the second quarter of CY2015 as presented in Tables 1-7, Chart 1, and Figures 1-6. [2] It also includes sampling results from the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project as presented in Tables 5a and 5b. [3] Beginning with this quarterly report, tables and charts related to establishment categories will be excluded until such time as new projects announced in 80 FR at 3940 are fully implemented. The table and chart titles will remain in place with a note about the temporary exclusion, however.

In May 2015, FSIS began testing poultry carcasses under new project codes HC_CH_CARC01 and HC_TU_CARC01 related to PR/HACCP verification testing and discontinued the previous set-based verification projects (HC11_BR and HC_TU). Results from both types of testing are presented in this report, with the set-based testing referred to as either "Young Chickens" or "Set-based Young Chicken Testing" or either "Young Turkeys" or "Set-based Young Turkey Testing." The newer projects are referred to as either ‘Moving window-based Young Chicken Carcasses’ or ‘Moving window-based Young Turkey Carcasses.’

Tables 1a and 1b 
Table 1a describes the historical Salmonella performance standards/guidance for two product classes and allowed positives for categories 1, 2T, 2 and 3. Table 1b describes the historical Campylobacter performance standards/guidance for two product classes and allowed positives for categories 1, 2T, 2 and 3.

Tables 2a and 2b
Table 2a summarizes Salmonella verification samples including Salmonella positive results, based on sample collection date, from April through June 2015 for various product classes. The sampling results for new pathogen reduction performance standards for Salmonella in raw chicken parts and not-ready-to-eat (NRTE) comminuted chicken and turkey products are also listed. [4]

Table 2b summarizes quantitative (1 ml—regulatory) results for Campylobacter verification samples including Campylobacter positive results, based on sample collection date, from April through June 2015 for young chicken and young turkey carcass samples. The sampling results for new pathogen reduction performance standards for Campylobacter in raw chicken parts and not-ready-to-eat (NRTE) comminuted chicken and turkey products are also listed. [4]

Tables 3 and 4
Tables 3 and 4 are related to the categorization of establishments and are therefore not reported at this time, as noted above. In previous reports, they reported the proportion of young chicken and young turkey slaughter establishments by categories that had completed at least two recent Salmonella verification-sampling sets. New establishments were not identified in any category until FSIS had documented the results from two sets. An establishment with its last set ≤ 50% of the performance standard or guidance and the prior set at > 50% of the performance standard or guidance was sub-categorized as 2T, with T standing for transitioning to Category 1. Young chicken and young turkey set results were classified using the performance standards that were in place at the time the set was initiated.

Tables 5a and 5b
Table 5a summarizes Salmonella positive results from April 2015 through June 2015 for the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Exploratory Sampling Project. Table 5b summarizes Campylobacter positive results from April 2015 - June 2015 for chicken and turkey comminuted products for the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Exploratory Sampling Project. Both tables also display the quartile distributions of percent positives among the sampled establishments for each type of product. Please note that these sampling projects were replaced by new sampling projects in May 2015.

Tables 6 and 7
Table 6 summarizes the Salmonella samples analyzed from all nine domestic raw beef projects, while Table 7 includes the samples taken from all raw beef products imported from other countries. [1]

A total of 4599 samples were analyzed from nine MT projects for Salmonella in the Second quarter of CY2015, from which 84 samples were positive. A total of 2,947 samples were collected and analyzed for Salmonella in raw ground beef sampling program MT43, of which 43 (1.5%) were positive. In imported raw beef products from all other countries, FSIS found two samples positive out of 181 analyzed for Salmonella.

Chart 1
In past reports, this chart represented the total percentage of establishments within product classes classified by category and sub-category for young chicken and young turkey. For reasons indicated above, this chart will be excluded from the quarterly reports until changes to sampling projects announced in 80 FR at 3940 are fully implemented, beginning with this report.

Figures 1 through 3 
Figures 1 through 3 summarize Salmonella positive results by product class for the most recent five quarters. Past reports included figures with ground beef, ground turkey and ground chicken sampling results. The last samples for these products under these programs were taken in October 2013. Therefore, those figures are not included in this report. These products are now sampled in the Risk-based E. coli O157:H7 Sampling of Raw Ground Beef or Veal Products, Sampling for Ground and Other Comminuted Chicken (not Mechanically Separated), Sampling for Ground and Other Comminuted Turkey (not Mechanically Separated), Exploratory Sampling for Mechanically Separated Chicken, and Exploratory Sampling for Mechanically Separated Turkey projects. As the original sampling programs transitioned to new ones identified in 80 FR at 3940, the number of samples collected in the original programs decreased. Therefore, the number of samples collected for the most recent quarter is substantially smaller than in past quarters. The data from these newer programs are shown in Tables 5a and 5b.

Figures 4 and 5
Figures 4 and 5 summarize Campylobacter positive results by product classes for the most recent five quarters. As the original sampling programs transitioned to new ones identified in 80 FR at 3940, the number of samples collected in the original programs decreased. Therefore, the number of samples collected for the most recent quarter is substantially smaller than in past quarters.

Figure 6 
Figure 6 summarizes Salmonella positive results by project code in this quarter for the nine domestic raw beef (MT) projects.

NOTE: While earlier quarterly reports included individual sample results from “A” sets only, the current report format summarizes data from all sets. This change was discussed in the 2006-second quarterly report, which can be accessed on the FSIS website: www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/quarterly-reports-salmonella/q2-cy-2006/.

Additional information regarding this report

In order to handle sample scheduling more efficiently and to update information on actively producing establishments, the Agency continues to automate the sampling algorithm process. Therefore, the total number of active operating establishments can change from quarter to quarter as establishments exit or enter the industry. This change does not apply to intermittently-producing establishments. The Agency will continue to report data from these establishments because they are considered to be operating at some level.

Given the revised sampling strategy, the percentage of positive samples is not useful as an indicator of trends. As described above, FSIS has temporarily suspended placing establishments into Category 1, 2T, 2, or 3 as an alternative trend indicator for the Salmonella verification sampling program. While the Agency does not expect the category trend indicator to vary greatly on a quarterly basis, it should facilitate tracking of overall industry performance when examined over multiple years. Other trend indicators continue to be considered and may be implemented once program changes announced in 80 FR at 3940 are fully implemented.

Beginning March 28, 2008, FSIS posted completed Salmonella sample set results from Young Chicken slaughter establishments with variable (Category 2) and highly variable (Category 3) process control. Currently the posting of ANY category information on the FSIS website is suspended until programs announced in 80 FR at 3940 are fully implemented.

As announced in the January 2008 Federal Register Notice: Salmonella Verification Sampling Program: Response to Comments and New Agency Policies (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/dab45316-44b2-4d75-a91e-a70f83b0cf7d/2006-0034.pdf?MOD=AJPERES), young turkey establishments in Categories 2 and 3 were eligible for posting to the FSIS website beginning May 15, 2008. The Agency is considering publishing category results for establishments in turkey and other product classes once the programs announced in 80 FR at 3940 are implemented. Annual reports summarizing results for calendar years are available on the FSIS website as well as previous quarterly reports. The restructuring of Salmonella set scheduling, however, means that it is inappropriate to compare results from 2006 onward to previous years. Similarly, the changes to the Salmonella verification sampling program prevent valid comparisons of testing results over time (e.g., quarter-to-quarter or year-to-year trends).


[1] Raw beef samples, including import MT08 and MT51 samples, collected for E. coli O157:H7 and/or non-O157 STEC analyses are also analyzed for Salmonella by FSIS Notice 18-15, which was implemented on July 1, 2014.

[2] This data is presented in the format discussed in the Salmonella second quarterly report CY2008 which can be accessed on the FSIS website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/quarterly-reports-salmonella/q2-2008/ct_index.

[3] The NRTE Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project was initiated by Federal Register Notice FSIS–2012–0007: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/0dffacbe-45e8-43ea-8b65-3b7100e19acb/2012-0007.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.

[4] Changes to the Salmonella and Campylobacter Verification Testing Program: Proposed Performance Standards for Salmonella and Campylobacter in Not-Ready-to-Eat Comminuted Chicken and Turkey Products and Raw Chicken Parts and Related Agency Verification Procedures and Other Changes to Agency Sampling can be found in 80 FR at 3940.


Tables

Table 1a: Salmonella Product Classes, Performance Standards/Guidance, and Allowed Positives for Categories 1, 2T, 2 and 3

Product class

Performance standard 
(percent positive for Salmonella
(%)

Number 
of samples 
tested

Maximum 
number of 
positives 
to achieve standard◊

Category 1§

 

Category 2T 
(T 
for 
transitioning)§

Category 2§

Category 3§

Young Chicken*

7.5

51

5

recent two set results ≤2

last set ≤2
prior set NOT ≤2

Last set >2
w/o failing

last set ≥ 6

Young Turkey*

1.7

56

4

most recent two set results set ≤2

last set ≤2
prior set NOT ≤2

Last set >2
w/o failing

last set ≥5

◊ Maximum number of positives is set at the number which would provide 80% likelihood of an establishment passing the sample set, if it were operating at exactly the performance standard (e.g. there is an 80% chance that a Young Chicken slaughter establishment that has Salmonella in exactly 7.5% of its product getting 5 or fewer positive samples out of a set of 51).

*New performance standards for young chicken and turkey carcasses were implemented July 1, 2011.

§Establishment category, which is based on the most recent two sets completed


Table 1b: Campylobacter Product Classes, Performance Standards/Guidance, and Allowed Positives for Category 1, 2T, 2 and 3

Product class

Performance 
standard (percent 
positive forCampylobacter (%) 

Number 
of samples 
tested

Maximum 
number of 
positives 
to achieve 
standard

Category 1

Category 2T 
(letter T 
standing for 
transitioning)

Category 2

Category 3

Young Chicken

10.4

51

8

TBD

TBD

TBD

TBD

Young Turkey

0.79

56

3

TBD

TBD

TBD

TBD

Categories for Campylobacter To Be Determined (TBD)


Table 2a: Percent Positive Salmonella Carcass Tests (All Samples) in the PR/HACCP Verification Testing Program and newly added programs for Chicken Parts, and NRTE Comminuted Chicken and Turkey by Product Class and Establishment Size – Second Quarter CY2015 (April 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015)

 

Product ID

Establishment Size

Large

Small

Very Small

All Sizes

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Set-based Young Chickens 45 0 0.0% 39 6 15.4% 22 3 13.6% 106 9 8.5%
Moving window-based Young Chicken Carcasses 878 8 0.9% 211 9 4.3% 45 9 20.0% 1134 26 2.3%
Set-based Young Turkeys 23 0 0.0% 19 0 0.0% 0 0 0 42 0 0.0%
Moving window-based Young Turkey Carcasses 167 0 0.0% 95 2 2.1% 6 1 16.7% 268 3 1.1%
Chicken Parts 467 96 20.6% 361 108 29.9% 70 23 32.9% 898 227 25.3%
Ground and Other Comminuted Chicken (not Mechanically Separated) 19 4 21.1% 67 17 25.4% 10 2 20.0% 96 23 24.0%
Ground and Other Comminuted Turkey (not Mechanically Separated) 41 8 19.5% 33 5 15.2% 3 0 0.0% 77 13 16.9%
Mechanically Separated Chicken 4 4 100.0% 1 1 100.0% 0 0 0 5 5 100.0%
Mechanically Separated Turkey 5 2 40.0% 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 2 40.0%

Table 2b: Percent Positive Quantitative (1 ml—regulatory) Campylobacter Carcass Tests (All Samples) in the PR/HACCP Verification Testing Program and newly added programs for Chicken Parts, and NRTE Comminuted Chicken and Turkey by Product Class and Establishment Size - Second Quarter CY2015 (April 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015)

 

Product ID

Establishment Size

Large

Small

Very Small

All Sizes

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Set-based Young Chickens 45 0 0.0% 39 2 5.1% 22 1 4.5% 106 3 2.8%
Moving window-based Young Chicken Carcasses 871 11 1.3% 210 12 5.7% 44 11 25.0% 1125 34 3.0%
Set-based Young Turkeys 23 0 0.0% 18 1 5.6% 0 0 0 41 1 2.4%
Moving window-based Young Turkey Carcasses 166 0 0.0% 95 2 2.1% 6 0 0.0% 267 2 0.7%
Chicken Parts 460 57 12.4% 354 58 16.4% 69 9 13.0% 883 124 14.0%
Ground and Other Comminuted Chicken (not Mechanically Separated) 19 0 0.0% 67 3 4.5% 10 0 0.0% 96 3 3.1%
Ground and Other Comminuted Turkey (not Mechanically Separated) 41 0 0.0% 33 0 0.0% 3 0 0.0% 77 0 0.0%
Mechanically Separated Chicken 4 0 0.0% 1 0 0.0% 0 0 0 5 0 0.0%
Mechanically Separated Turkey 5 0 0.0% 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 0.0%

Table 3: Young Chicken Slaughter Establishments by Salmonella Category, 2nd Quarter CY2015

With the publication of 80 FR at 3940 ("Changes to the Salmonella and Campylobacter Verification Testing Program: Proposed Performance Standards for Salmonella and Campylobacter in Not-Ready-to-Eat Comminuted Chicken and Turkey Products and Raw Chicken Parts and Related Agency Verification Procedures and Other Changes to Agency Sampling"), FSIS has suspended the categorization of establishments until such time as changes to FSIS sampling programs have been implemented.


Table 4: Young Turkey Slaughter Establishments by Salmonella Category, 2nd Quarter CY2015

With the publication of 80 FR at 3940 ("Changes to the Salmonella and Campylobacter Verification Testing Program: Proposed Performance Standards for Salmonella and Campylobacter in Not-Ready-to-Eat Comminuted Chicken and Turkey Products and Raw Chicken Parts and Related Agency Verification Procedures and Other Changes to Agency Sampling"), FSIS has suspended the categorization of establishments until such time as changes to FSIS sampling programs have been implemented.


Table 5a: Percent Positive Salmonella Tests (All Samples) in the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Exploratory Sampling Project by reported Finished Product Category – All Samples (April 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015)**

Product Group Finished Product

Overall Samples

Establishment Data

Establishment Percent Positive Distribution

Number Analyzed

Number Positive

Percent Positive

Plants Sampled

Avg.  
Samples
per Plant

Q1

Median

Q3

Chicken Ground/Other Comminuted Chicken 315 108 34.3% 79 3.99 0.0% 25.00% 66.67%
Mechanically Separated Chicken 226 178 78.8% 38 5.95 71.43% 87.50% 100.00%
Chicken Subtotal 541 286 52.9% 113 4.79 0.00% 50.00% 87.50%
Turkey Ground/Other Comminuted Turkey 246 39 15.9% 50 4.92 0.00% 0.00% 16.67%
Mechanically Separated Turkey 25 13 52.00% 12 2.08 0.00% 0.00% 79.17%
Turkey Subtotal 271 52 19.2% 51 5.31 0.00% 12.50% 37.50%
Salmonella Grand Total 812 338 41.6% 150 5.41 0.00% 33.33% 75.00%

**NOTE: The finished product information is obtained here through inspection personnel responses on the sampling forms and is subject to further review by the Agency for future analyses.


Table 5b: Percent Positive Campylobacter Tests (All Samples) in the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Exploratory Sampling Project by reported Finished Product Category - All Samples (April 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015)**

Product Group Finished Product

Overall Samples

Establishment Data

Establishment Percent Positive Distribution

Number Analyzed

Number Positive

Percent Positive

Plants Sampled

Avg. Samples
per Plant

Q1

Median

Q3

Chicken Ground Chicken/Other Comminuted Chicken 315 5 1.6% 79 3.99 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Mechanically Separated Chicken 225 44 19.6% 38 5.92 0.0% 0.0% 28.6%
Chicken Subtotal 540 49 9.1% 113 4.78 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Turkey Ground Turkey/Other Comminuted Turkey 246 1 0.4% 50 4.92 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Mechanically Separated Turkey 25 0 0.0% 12 2.08 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Turkey Subtotal 271 1 0.4% 51 5.31 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Campylobacter Grand Total 811 50 6.5% 150 5.41 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
                 

**NOTE: The finished product information is obtained here through inspection personnel responses on the sampling forms and is subject to further review by the Agency for future analyses.


 Table 6: Percent Positive Salmonella Tests (All Samples) in Domestic Raw Beef (MT) Sampling Projects – All Samples (April 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015)

Project Project Name Total Samples Analyzed Total Samples Positive Percent Positive
MT05 Raw Ground Beef – Retail 118 2 1.7%
MT43 Risk-based Sampling for Raw Ground Beef 2947 43 1.5%
MT44 Raw Ground Beef – Follow-up testing to a raw ground beef positive* 23 0 0.0%
MT44T Raw Ground Beef – Trace back 0 0  
MT52 Follow-up testing at supplier establishments following MT43, MT44, or MT55 positive* 5 0 0.0%
MT53 Follow-up testing to an MT60, MT54, MT55, or MT52 positive* 122 3 2.5%
MT54 Raw ground beef components other than trim 146 9 6.2%
MT55 Bench Trim 339 3 0.9%
MT60 Beef manufacturing trim 899 24 2.7%
Total Domestic Raw Beef Sampling Projects 4599 84 1.8%

* Dependent on positive findings from other E. coli O157:H7 or non-O157 (STEC) sampling projects.


Table 7: Percent Positive Salmonella Tests (All Samples) in Imported Raw Beef (MT) Products Sampling Projects – All Samples (April 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015)

Product Total Samples Analyzed Total Samples Positive Percent Positive
Imported raw ground beef and imported trim/other raw ground beef components (MT08 + MT51) 181 2 1.1%

 

Data Source: FSIS Data Warehouse

Last Modified Dec 18, 2015