USDA updates efforts to control salmonella in poultry

Texas News Today

The USDA states that so far this has not resulted in a significant reduction in the 1.35 million salmonella diseases reported each year.

Federal health officials are rethinking their approach to controlling salmonella in poultry plants, hoping to reduce the number of diseases related to the bacteria each year, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday announced plans to achieve that goal. has created. announced some steps.

According to the USDA, the industry has been successful in reducing the level of salmonella contamination found in poultry factories in recent years, but it hasn’t reduced the disease that officials had hoped for.

Poultry is associated with about 23% of the 1.35 million salmonella infections that occur in the United States each year, causing about 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths, but the numbers haven’t changed much. Salmonella commonly causes diarrhea, fever and gastric cramps, and hospital treatment is required in severe cases.

As a result, the US Department of Agriculture has established a pilot project to change the way salmonella is tested in plants and allows industry to do more on the farm to reduce the amount of bacteria in chickens before they enter the factory. encouraged to. I am planning to increase it. Officials will also hold a series of meetings with industry insiders and interest groups to discuss other ways to reduce salmonella disease risk.

“It’s a deeper, more targeted and more systems-based approach than ever before,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Bilsack said. “I hope we can significantly reduce the risk of these serious cases and it is well worth the effort.”

The USDA is currently testing the presence of salmonella in poultry at processing plants. One of the proposed pilot projects involves testing the amount of bacteria present and the specific strains of Salmonella that cause most diseases.

Agencies have proven to reduce chicken bacteria by using more vaccinations, adding probiotics to food, and more to keep birds’ bedding, food, and water clean. I would like to recommend a combination of procedures to farmers.

The National Chicken Council industry group already has millions of dollars in efforts to reduce salmonella contamination, including spraying disinfectant solutions on raw chicken being processed, improving sanitation and using more vaccines. It says it is investing. Spokesman Tom Super said many poultry farmers have taken steps recommended by the USDA.

“We are committed to the industry to continue investing significant resources in hatcheries, feed mills, farms and factories to further enhance the safety profile of chicken products, but by law, regulation, there is no silver. Makes raw chicken a 100% sterile product.”

The USDA said 89 percent of the country’s poultry processing plants now meet the authorities’ performance standards for limiting salmonella in chicken parts. This is an increase from three years ago when only 71 per cent of the plants met the criteria.

Turkish association president Joel Brandenberger said companies are eager to participate in the USDA roundtable as the industry already shares ideas on the best ways to control salmonella. ..

“There is no easy solution, so there is a need for a combined approach of the type supported by the USDA to improve food safety,” Brandenburger says.

Zach Corrigan of Food & Water Watch, an advocate of stricter food safety regulations, said the USDA’s new effort appears to be a “movement in the right direction,” yet more to help officials control salmonella. He said that he wanted to do so. Meat that contains bacteria cannot be sold to consumers.

Selling raw chicken with salmonella is currently legal. As a result, health officials have emphasized the need for the safe handling of raw poultry, including thoroughly cooking the meat to kill potential bacteria. They also warn that raw chicken, which can be sprinkled with bacteria everywhere, should not be washed.

Former USDA Brian Ronholm, who currently oversees food policy at Consumer Reports under the Secretary of Food Safety, praised the federal agency’s comprehensive approach to reducing salmonella disease.

“Some consumers say they think they have to treat chicken like toxic waste, but that’s how no one wants to cook in the kitchen. Submitted by the USDA. We hope these steps will help consumers.” Confidence will increase. The safety of the poultry products they bring to their homes.”

Follow Josh Funk on Twitter: https://twitter.com/funkwrite

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