USDA Sets New Standards for Reducing Foodborne Pathogens in Chickens and Turkeys, Preventing Up To 25,000 Illnesses
Secretary Vilsack believes there is no more fundamental function of government than protecting consumers, and there is no mission more important to USDA than ensuring the safety of our food. Prevention is our single greatest priority here, so this week the Department announced new performance standards aimed at reducing the occurrence of Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria in chickens and turkeys. Within two years of implementing these standards, approximately 5,000 cases of Campylobacter illnesses and 20,000 cases of Salmonella illnesses will be prevented annually.
While the poultry industry has made significant strides in recent years, far too many Americans continue to fall victim to these foodborne illnesses – FSIS estimates nearly 350,000 from Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry annually, combined. These improved standards will drive the industry to do better. They are tough but achievable. And when fully implemented, they can help us lower the danger of foodborne illness.