FOOD SAFETY OF POULTRY
New Salmonella, Campylobacter
performance standards for poultry
lack scientific foundation
New Food Safety and Inspection Service performance standards for Salmonella and
Campylobacter in poultry will be costly, with no demonstrated public bene;t.
BY SCOTT M. RUSSELL
New regulations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety
and Inspection Service to be implemented in July mean broiler chickens
produced in the U.S. will be subject to new performance standards
for Salmonella and a performance standard for Campylobacter for
the ;rst time.
Inaccurate estimates of impact on foodborne illness
USDA-FSIS has estimated that, once the new standard is in place for
two years, 39,000 illnesses due to Campylobacter and 26,000 illnesses
due to Salmonella will be eliminated. This con;icts with currently
available data regarding human foodborne illness due to Salmonella
that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, which show
illness ;at lining for the last 20 years.
If consumption of poultry were contributing to the prevalence
of salmonellosis, then changes in prevalence in fresh poultry would
Salmonella prevalence on
broiler chickens in the US
0 1995 1998 19992000 2001 20022003 2004 20052006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Salmonella prevalence in chicken increased from 2000-2005 and decreased dramatically from 2005-2010, but no significant changes in
human salmonellosis occurred.
be reflected in changes in
human salmonellosis. This
relationship has not been established. In fact, Salmonella
prevalence in chicken increased from 2000-2005 and
decreased dramatically from
2005-2010, but no signi;cant
changes in human salmonellosis occurred. This clearly
indicates that consumption of
poultry is not having a signi;cant impact on salmonellosis
The question is: If the
industry spends millions, if
not billions, of dollars meeting these new requirements, what impact will it have on human salmonellosis? Is it worth it? Were the billion dollars spent to implement
the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Final Rule/Salmonella
Performance Standard worth it? What effect did it have on human salmonellosis? There needs to be government accountability for arbitrary
implementation of regulation without any, and in some cases contradictory, evidence that the new regulation will have an impact.
Image courtesy Food Safety Network
Missing factors in regulatory policy
The new Salmonella Performance Standard fails to take into account two important considerations: variables outside of the control of
the poultry industry that impact Salmonella prevalence and the law of
diminishing returns in efforts to reduce pathogens.