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Quarterly Progress Report on Salmonella and Campylobacter Testing of Selected Raw Meat and Poultry Products: Preliminary Results, October 2014 to December 2014

Attachments to this report:

Executive Summary

  • There were 2668 samples collected and analyzed for the PR/HACCP Verification program.
  • From the previous quarter, the of slaughter plants in Category 3 for carcass sampling:
    • Decreased for Young Chicken plants (3.5% to 2.9%; from 6 out of 171 plants to 5 out of 175 plants)
    • Remained the same for Young Turkey plants (0%; 0 out of 29 plants to 0 of 32 plants)
  • There were 2368 carcass samples co-analyzed for Campylobacter, with the following percent positive results:
    • Young Chicken – 6.5% (1783 samples analyzed)
    • Turkeys – 1.9% (585 samples analyzed)
  • 88.4% of Young Chicken and Young Turkey establishments are in Category 1, while 2.4% are in Category 3. The remaining plants are either Category 2 or 2T.
  • Not Ready-To-Eat (NRTE) Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project cumulative Results from June 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014 for all finished products are:
    • Salmonella positive– 46.8% (3311 out of 7081 samples), 59.9% of NRTE Comminuted Chicken (2756 out of 4603 samples), and 22.4% of NRTE Comminuted Turkey (555 out of 2478 samples).
    • Campylobacter positive – 7.3% (518 out of 7071 samples), 10.8% of NRTE Comminuted Chicken (498 out of 4600 samples), and 0.8% of NRTE Comminuted Turkey (20 out of 2471 samples).
  • Small production volume beef establishments which were sampled under the MT43S program are now co-analyzed under the MT43 program for both E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella. [1] A total of 2965 samples were analyzed in the raw ground beef sampling program. Of those, 58 (2.0%) were positive for Salmonella.
  • Out of 1846 samples analyzed in the eight other domestic MT projects, 60 samples (3.3%) were Salmonella positive, while in imported raw beef products tested, only one sample was Salmonella positive (0.6%).

This report discusses the Salmonella and Campylobacter verification sampling results for the Fourth Quarter CY2014 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]

Tables 1a and 1b 
Tables 1a and 1b describe the Salmonella performance standards/guidance for 3 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 October - December 2014 for all three product classes. Table 2b summarizes quantitative (1 ml–regulatory) Campylobacter verification samples including Campylobacter positive results, based on sample collection date, from October - December 2014 for young chicken and turkey carcasses.

Tables 3-4
Tables 3-4 report the proportion of young chicken and young turkey establishments by categories that have completed at least two recent Salmonella verification-sampling sets. New establishments are not identified in any category until FSIS has 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 is sub-categorized as 2T, with T standing for transitioning to Category 1.Young chicken and young turkey set results are 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 June 2013 - December 2014 for the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project. Table 5b summarizes Campylobacter positive results from June 2013 - December 2014 for chicken and turkey comminuted products for the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project. [3] Both tables also display the quartile distributions of percent positives among the sampled establishments for each type of product.

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. [4]

A total of 4811 samples were analyzed from nine MT projects for Salmonella in fourth quarter CY2014, from which 118 samples were positive. A total of 2,965 samples were collected and analyzed for Salmonella in raw ground beef sampling program MT43. Of those, 58 (2.0%) were positive In imported raw beef products from all other countries, FSIS found one sample positive out of 175 analyzed for Salmonella.

Chart 1
This chart represents the total percentage of establishments within product classes classified by category and sub-category for Young Chicken and Young Turkey. This chart indicates that as of December 31, 2014, 88.4% of establishments are in Category 1, 3.9% are in Category 2T, 5.3% are in Category 2, and 2.4% are in Category 3.

Figures 1-3
Figures 1-3 summarize Salmonella positive results by product class for the most recent five quarters. Past reports included figures with 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 Not-Ready-To-Eat (NRTE) Comminuted Turkey and Not-Ready-To-Eat Comminuted Chicken programs. The data from these newer programs are shown in Tables 5a and 5b.

Figures 4-5
Figures 4-5 summarize Campylobacter positive results by product classes for the most recent five quarters.

Figure 6
Figure 6 summarizes Salmonella positive results by project code in this quarter for the nine domestic raw beef 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 categorize these establishments because they are considered to be operating at some level.

Given the revised sampling strategy, the percentage of positive samples is no longer useful as an indicator of trends. As described above, FSIS has implemented 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.

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 only Category 3 young chicken slaughter establishments are posted on the FSIS website. In October, November and December 2014, there were 7 establishments in Category 3. FSIS continues to update this information on or about the 15th of each month. The current posting can be accessed at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/salmonella-verification-testing-program/.

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), turkey establishments in Categories 2 and 3 were eligible for posting to the FSIS website beginning May 15, 2008. The Agency is still considering publishing category results for establishments in additional product classes. Annual reports summarizing results for calendar years are available on the FSIS Web site 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] The MT43 raw ground beef sampling program only began testing for Salmonella starting June 29, 2014 by FSIS Notice FSIS 28-14.

[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] 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. 


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

Ground Beef Φ

7.5

53

5

most recent two set results set ≤2

last set ≤2
prior set NOT ≤2

Last set >2
w/o failing

last set ≥6

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 plant 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

ΦFSIS in the process of developing new performance standards and are 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

T.B.D.

T.B.D.

T.B.D.

T.B.D.

Turkey

0.79

56

3

T.B.D.

T.B.D.

T.B.D.

T.B.D.

Categories for Campylobacter To Be Determined (T.B.D.)


Table 2a: Percent Positive Salmonella Tests (All Samples) in the PR/HACCP Verification Testing Program by Product Class and Establishment Size - Fourth Quarter CY2014 (October 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014)

All Sets

Establishment Size

Large

Small

Very Small

All Sizes

Product ID

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Young Chicken

1052

9

0.9%

474

17

3.6%

257

58

22.6%

1783

84

4.7%

Ground Beef

84

0

0.0%

141

4

2.8%

75

1

1.3%

300

5

1.7%

Turkeys

278

2

0.7%

280

3

1.1%

27

0

0.0%

585

5

0.9%


Table 2b: Percent Positive Quantitative (1 mlregulatory) Campylobacter Tests (All Samples) in the PR/HACCP Verification Testing Program by Product Class and Establishment Size - Fourth Quarter CY2014 (October 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014)

All Sets

Establishment Size

Large

Small

Very Small

All Sizes

Product ID

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Young Chicken

1052

10

1.0%

474

24

5.1%

257

81

31.5%

1783

115

6.4%

Turkeys

278

5

1.8%

280

6

2.1%

27

0

0.0%

585

11

1.9%


Table 3: Young Chicken Establishments by Salmonella Category, Fourth Quarter CY2014

Category Quarter 1 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 2 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 3 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 4 Percent of TOTAL
1 141 80.6% 146 82.0% 150 87.7% 154 88.0%
2T 16 9.1% 12 6.7% 8 4.7% 6 3.4%
2 12 6.9% 12 6.7% 7 4.1% 10 5.7%
3 6 3.4% 8 4.5% 6 3.5% 5 2.9%
TOTAL * 175 100.0% 178 100.0% 171 100.0% 175 100.0%

*Total Number of Establishments Currently Operating and Subject to Sampling That Have At Least Two Completed Sets


Table 4: Turkey Establishments by Salmonella Category, Fourth Quarter CY2014

Category Quarter 1 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 2 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 3 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 4 Percent of TOTAL
1 26 74.3% 27 77.1% 26 89.7% 29 90.6%
2T 4 11.4% 5 14.3% 1 3.4% 2 6.3%
2 3 8.6% 3 8.6% 2 6.9% 1 3.1%
3 2 5.7% 0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL * 35 100.0% 35 100.0% 29 100.0% 32 100.0%

*Total Number Of Establishments Currently Operating and Subject to Sampling That Have At Least Two Completed Sets.


Table 5a: Percent Positive Salmonella Tests (All Samples) in the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project by reported Finished Product Category – All Samples (June 1, 2013 to December 31, 2014)**

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 A. Ground Chicken 1789 697 38.96% 83 21.55 12.50% 26.92% 58.33%
B. Mechanically Separated Chicken 2150 1782 82.88% 55 39.09 66.67% 89.09% 95.71%
C. Other Comminuted Chicken 664 277 41.72% 39 17.03 0.00% 36.84% 57.14%
Chicken Subtotal 4603 2756 59.87% 134 34.35 20.63% 46.60% 83.10%
Turkey D. Ground Turkey 1870 372 19.89% 55 34 0.00% 14.06% 28.57%
E. Mechanically Separated Turkey 201 110 54.73% 25 8.04 33.33% 51.35% 100.00%
F. Other Comminuted Turkey 407 73 17.94% 33 12.33 0.00% 5.00% 33.33%
Turkey Subtotal 2478 555 22.40% 78 31.77 6.85% 19.14% 37.33%
Salmonella Grand Total 7081 3311 46.76% 179 39.56 16.13% 32.88% 71.43%

**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 Sampling Project by reported Finished Product Category - All Samples (June 1, 2013 to December 31, 2014)**

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 A. Ground Chicken 1787 54 3.02% 83 21.53 0.00% 0.00% 1.47%
B. Mechanically Separated Chicken 2151 424 19.71% 55 39.11 0.00% 14.86% 26.00%
C. Other Comminuted Chicken 662 20 3.02% 39 16.97 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Chicken Subtotal 4600 498 10.83% 134 34.33 0.00% 0.00% 13.46%
Turkey D. Ground Turkey 1863 13 0.70% 55 33.87 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
E. Mechanically Separated Turkey 201 7 3.48% 25 8.04 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
F. Other Comminuted Turkey 407 0 0.00% 33 12.33 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Turkey Subtotal 2471 20 0.81% 78 31.68 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Campylobacter Grand Total 7071 518 7.33% 179 39.5 0.00% 0.00% 7.04%

**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 Sampling Projects  – All Samples (October 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014)

Project Project Name Total Samples Analyzed Total Sample Positive Percent Positive
MT05 Raw Ground Beef – Retail 123 5 4.06%
MT43 Risk-based Sampling for Raw Ground Beef 2965 58 1.95%
MT44 Raw Ground Beef – Follow-up testing to a raw ground beef positive* 24 4 16.66%
MT44T Raw Ground Beef – Trace back 105 2 1.90%
MT52 Follow-up testing at supplier establishments following MT43, MT44, or MT55 positive* 44 15 34.09%
MT53 Follow-up testing to an MT60, MT54, MT55, or MT52 positive* 233 4 1.71%
MT54 Raw ground beef components other than trim 133 7 5.26%
MT55 Bench Trim 359 4 1.11%
MT60 Beef manufacturing trim 825 19 2.30%
Total Domestic Raw Beef Sampling Projects 4811 118 2.45%

* 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 Products Sampling Projects – All Samples (October 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014)

Product Total Sample Analyzed Total Sample Positive Percent Positive
Imported raw ground beef and imported trim/other raw ground beef components (MT08 + MT51) 175 1 0.57%

 

Last Modified May 21, 2015