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Quarterly Progress Report on Salmonella and Campylobacter Testing of Selected Raw Meat and Poultry Products: Preliminary Results, July 2015 to September 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 14 beef and zero (0) poultry carcass samples collected and analyzed for Salmonella in the original set-based PR/HACCP verification program, and 2421 samples analyzed for new moving window-based PR/HACCP verification projects  on Young Chicken Carcasses and Young Turkey Carcasses.
    • Moving window-based Young Chicken Carcasses – 1.4% positive (1997 samples analyzed)
    • Moving window-based Young Turkey Carcasses – 0.9% positive (424 samples analyzed)
  • There were zero (0) carcass samples analyzed for Campylobacter from the original set-based PR/HACCP verification program, and 2207 samples also analyzed for new moving window-based projects (HC_CH_CARC01 and HC_TU_CARC01): 
    • Moving window-based Young Chicken Carcasses – 2.2% positive (1810 samples analyzed)
    • Moving window-based Young Turkey Carcasses – 1.5% positive (397 samples analyzed)
  • 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 and are therefore not included in this report.
  • Small production volume beef establishments are being analyzed under the MT43 (raw ground beef) sampling program for both E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella. [1] A total of 2688 samples were analyzed in the raw ground beef sampling program.  Of those, 82 (3.1%) were positive for Salmonella.
  • Out of 1614 samples analyzed in the ten (10) other domestic MT sampling projects, 63 samples (3.9%) were Salmonella positive, while in imported raw beef products tested, three samples of 163 (1.8%) were positive for Salmonella.
  • There were 280 positive out of 1267 samples analyzed for Salmonella (22.1%) for Chicken Parts, and 174 positive out of 1170 samples analyzed for Campylobacter (14.9%) for Chicken Parts.
  • There were 76 positive out of 259 samples analyzed for Salmonella (29.3%) from sampling in Ground and Other Comminuted Chicken (not Mechanically Separated), and 34 positive out of 206 analyzed samples (16.5%) for Salmonella from sampling in Ground and Other Comminuted Turkey (not Mechanically Separated), 16 positive of 22 samples analyzed (72.7%) from Exploratory Sampling for Mechanically Separated Chicken, and 5 positive out of 19 samples analyzed (26.3%) from Exploratory Sampling for Mechanically Separated Turkey.
  • There were eight (8) positive out of 254 samples analyzed for Campylobacter (3.1%) from Ground and Other Comminuted Chicken (not Mechanically Separated), and 0 positive out of 202 analyzed samples (0%) for Campylobacter from Ground and Other Comminuted Turkey (not Mechanically Separated), 2 positive of 22 Campylobacter samples analyzed (9.1%) from Exploratory Sampling for Mechanically Separated Chicken, and 0 positive out of 19 Campylobacter samples analyzed (0%) from Exploratory Sampling for Mechanically Separated Turkey.

This report discusses the Salmonella and Campylobacter verification sampling results for the third quarter of CY2015 as presented in Tables 1-7, Chart 1, and Figures 1-6. [2] It no longer includes sampling results from the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project in Tables 5a and 5b because these sampling projects were replaced by new sampling projects in May 2015, so there is no data to report for July through September 2015. [3] Tables and charts related to establishment categories are currently excluded from these quarterly reports 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 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."

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 July through September 2015 for both 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 July through September 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 was used in past reports to summarize Salmonella positive results from each quarter for the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Exploratory Sampling Projects. Table 5b was used to summarize Campylobacter positive results from each quarter for chicken and turkey comminuted products for the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Exploratory Sampling Projects.  Both tables also displayed the quartile distributions of percent positives among the sampled establishments for each type of product.  Because these sampling projects were replaced by new sampling projects in May 2015, there is no data to report for July through September 2015.  The results from the new sampling projects are included in tables 2a and 2b.

Tables 6 and 7
Table 6 summarizes the Salmonella samples analyzed from all 11 domestic raw beef projects, while Table 7 includes the samples taken from all raw beef products imported from other countries.[5]

A total of 4302 samples were analyzed from 11 MT projects for Salmonella in the third quarter of CY2015, from which 145 samples were positive. A total of 2,688 samples were collected and analyzed for Salmonella  in raw ground beef sampling program MT43, of which 82 (3.1%) were positive. In imported raw beef products from all other countries, FSIS found three samples positive out of 163 analyzed for Salmonella.  In imported raw and not-ready-to-eat poultry products, nine of 119 samples (7.6%) tested positive 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.

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.  The original sampling programs transitioned to new ones identified in 80 FR at 3940 before July 2015.  The data from these newer programs are shown in Table 2a.

Figures 4 and 5 
Figures 4 and 5 summarize Campylobacter positive results by product classes for the most recent five quarters. The original sampling programs transitioned to new ones identified in 80 FR at 3940 before July 2015.  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 Table 2b.

Figure 6 
Figure 6 summarizes Salmonella positive results by project code in this quarter for the 11 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.

[5] FSIS Notice 32-15 introduced sampling in raw imported poultry products in July 2015.


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

Φ FSIS is in the process of developing new performance standards and is not currently categorizing according to the existing standards because of sampling changes.


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 – Third Quarter CY2015 (July 1, 2015 through September 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 Chickens1 0 0   0 0   0 0   0 0  
Moving window-based Young Chicken Carcasses 1564 15 1.0% 358 7 2.0% 75 5 6.7% 1997 27 1.4%
Set-based Young Turkeys1 0 0   0 0   0 0   0 0  
Moving window-based Young Turkey Carcasses 267 2 0.7% 152 1 0.7% 5 1 20.0% 424 4 0.9%
Chicken Parts 664 134 20.2% 504 122 24.2% 99 24 24.2% 1267 280 22.1%
Ground and Other Comminuted Chicken (not Mechanically Separated) 51 9 17.6% 163 53 32.5% 45 14 31.1% 259 76 29.3%
Ground and Other Comminuted Turkey (not Mechanically Separated) 121 23 19.0% 79 11 13.9% 6 0 0.0% 206 34 16.5%
Mechanically Separated Chicken 13 10 76.9% 9 6 66.7% 0 0   22 16 72.7%
Mechanically Separated Turkey 13 3 23.1% 6 2 33.3% 0 0   19 5 26.3%

1The Young Chicken and Young Turkey sampling transitioned to newer projects for Young Chicken Carcasses and Young Turkey Carcasses, respectively, in May 2015.  Therefore, there were no samples reported in this table in the older projects from July through September.

 


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 – Third Quarter CY2015 (July 1, 2015 through September 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 Chickens1 0 0   0 0   0 0   0 0  
Moving window-based Young Chicken Carcasses 1406 15 1.1% 336 11 3.3% 68 13 19.1% 1810 39 2.2%
Set-based Young Turkeys1 0 0   0 0   0 0   0 0  
Moving window-based Young Turkey Carcasses 253 4 1.6% 140 2 1.4% 4 0 0.0% 397 6 1.5%
Chicken Parts 606 82 13.5% 473 77 16.3% 91 15 16.5% 1170 174 14.9%
Ground and Other Comminuted Chicken (not Mechanically Separated) 50 2 4.0% 161 6 3.7% 43 0 0.0% 254 8 3.1%
Ground and Other Comminuted Turkey (not Mechanically Separated) 118 0 0.0% 78 0 0.0% 6 0 0.0% 202 0 0.0%
Mechanically Separated Chicken 13 1 7.7% 9 1 11.1% 0 0   22 2 9.1%
Mechanically Separated Turkey 13 0 0.0% 6 0 0.0% 0 0   19 0 0.0%

1The Young Chicken and Young Turkey sampling transitioned to newer projects for Young Chicken Carcasses and Young Turkey Carcasses, respectively, in May 2015.  Therefore, there were no samples reported in this table in the older projects from July through September.


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 Projects by reported Finished Product Category – All Samples (July 1, 2015 through September 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 0              
Mechanically Separated Chicken 0              
Chicken Subtotal 0              
Turkey Ground/Other Comminuted Turkey 0              
Mechanically Separated Turkey 0              
Turkey Subtotal 0              
Salmonella Grand Total                

**NOTE: These sampling projects were replaced by new sampling projects in May 2015, so there is no data to report for July through September 2015.


Table 5b: Percent Positive Campylobacter Tests (All Samples) in the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Exploratory Sampling Projects by reported Finished Product Category -All Samples (July 1, 2015 through September 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 0              
Mechanically Separated Chicken 0              
Chicken Subtotal 0              
Turkey Ground Turkey/Other Comminuted Turkey 0              
Mechanically Separated Turkey 0              
Turkey Subtotal 0              
Campylobacter Grand Total               0.0%

**NOTE: These sampling projects were replaced by new sampling projects in May 2015, so there is no data to report for July through September 2015.


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

Project Project Name Total Samples Analyzed Total Samples Positive Percent Positive
MT05 Raw Ground Beef – Retail 115 5 4.3%
MT43 Risk-based Sampling for Raw Ground Beef 2688 82 3.1%
MT44 Raw Ground Beef – Follow-up testing to a raw ground beef positive* 17 1 5.9%
MT44T Raw Ground Beef – Trace back 14 0 0.0%
MT52 1 Follow-up testing at supplier establishments following MT43, MT44, or MT55 positive1 26 0 0.0%
MT53 Follow-up testing to an MT60, MT54, MT55, or MT52 positive* 128 17 13.3%
MT54 2 Raw ground beef components other than trim 86 6 7.0%
MT55 2 Bench Trim 232 2 0.9%
MT60 Beef manufacturing trim 890 28 3.1%
MT64 2 Raw ground beef components other than trim
Bench Trim
18 2 11.1%
MT65 2 Bench Trim 88 2 2.3%
Total Domestic Raw Beef Sampling Projects 4302 145 3.4%

1 Dependent on positive findings from other E. coli O157:H7 or non-O157 (STEC) sampling projects.
2 FSIS changed sample scheduling methodology for the MT54 and MT55 sampling projects.  Therefore, data collected under the new methodology is reported under new project codes MT64 and MT65.


Table 7: Percent Positive Salmonella Tests (All Samples) in Imported Raw Beef (MT) Products Sampling Projects – All Samples (July 1, 2015 through September 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) 163 3 1.8%
Import Sampling of Raw and NRTE Poultry Products1 119 9 7.6%

1 FSIS began sampling imported raw and NRTE poultry products in July 2015.

Data Source: FSIS Data Warehouse

Last Modified Dec 18, 2015