New US food standards aim at poultry-borne illnesses

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 26th July 2011

New standards for reducing the prevalence of salmonella and campylobacter in young chickens and turkeys are being implemented in the United States.

The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is acting on base-line studies that indicated American consumers are still being exposed to pathogens in poultry.

After two years of enforcement, the FSIS estimates that the new standards will prevent approximately 5,000 cases of campylobacter-caused illnesses and 20,000 cases of salmonella-caused illnesses.

“While the industry has made significant strides in recent years, far too many Americans continue to fall victim to these food-borne illnesses,” said Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen.

“These improved standards will drive the industry to do better. They are tough but achievable. And when fully implemented, they will prevent tens of thousands of Americans from getting sick.”

In the United States, the Obama administration has prioritised prevention and risk-management in its food safety strategy.