New Salmonella, Campylobacter standards created

by Keith Nunes
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WASHINGTON — The Food Safety and Inspection Service is revising its performance standard aimed at reducing the incidence of Salmonella in young chickens and turkeys. The agency also has created a new performance standard for the pathogen Campylobacter. Both performance standards will go into effect in July 2011.

The revised performance standard for Salmonella is five positive samples in a 51-sample set for young chickens and four positive samples in a 56-sample set for turkeys.

The Campylobacter performance standards and sample set criteria for tracking and reporting to processors will be applied to results from the smaller of two laboratory Campylobacter sample portions(1 mL), which detects higher levels of contamination, making the performance standards 10.4% for young chickens and 0.79% for turkeys. Sample set criteria are eight positive samples per 51-sample set for young chickens and three positive samples per 56-sample set for turkeys.

The performance standards were revised using recently completed nationwide studies that measure the baseline prevalence of Salmonella and Campylobacter in young chickens and turkeys prepared for market. The studies indicated that, despite improvements, there was still a risk of consumers being exposed to these pathogens through poultry.

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