Feds to Expand Salmonella Initiative Program

Food Production Daily just wrote that the Salmonella Initiative Program (SIP) is being expanded to support industry in reducing foodborne bacteria in raw meat and poultry.

We recently reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the implementation of revised and new performance standards to minimize food poisoning risks from pathogens such as <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">Salmonella and Campylobacter in young chickens and turkeys.

The SIP is voluntary and incentive based and permits processors to continue operations utilizing specific regulator waivers if those processors utilize “new procedures, equipment, or processing techniques,” said Food Production Daily, that ensure better Salmonella controls. Those firms can then conduct regular product sampling for pathogen testing and for FSIS follow-up.

“Prevention is the best way to protect consumers. This program will encourage innovation by the industry to make food safer while providing us with data and information we can use to protect public health,” said Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Under Secretary for Food Safety, quoted Food Production Daily.

The notice is on the FSIS website prior to Federal Register publication at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Frame/FrameRedirect.asp?main=http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FRPubs/2008-0008.pdf

As we’ve mentioned, the FSIS urges firms that slaughter poultry to continue pathogen reduction efforts, specifically naming Salmonella and Campylobacter. The FSIS believes that after two years of maintaining these standards some 20,000 Salmonella illnesses will be prevented annually and about 5,000 will be prevented each year under Campylobacter standards.

Stronger standards were created by FSIS that utilized recent, nationwide studies in which the baseline occurrence of Salmonella and Campylobacter in young chickens and turkeys being prepared for sale. The studies revealed that while improvements were in place, consumer risk for these pathogens remained.

Stronger standards were created by FSIS that utilized recent, nationwide studies in which the baseline occurrence of Salmonella and Campylobacter in young chickens and turkeys being prepared for sale, explained AgNet News previously. The studies revealed that while improvements were in place, consumer risk for these pathogens remained.

In the U.S., Salmonella is among the top culprits identified in reported food poisoning illnesses and deaths. Salmonella infection can lead to long-term and serious adverse health effects, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and a form of reactive arthritis called Reiter’s Syndrome, which typically affects large weight-bearing joints such as the knees and the lower back.

Campylobacter infections can also lead to Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a potentially paralyzing illness that can leave victims with mild to severe neurological damage, as well as meningitis. Both infections can be found in raw or undercooked poultry, among other foods.

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