indicates “in control” versus “out
of control” rather than normal
variation around a baseline set
by the condition of incoming carcasses.
December 2011 after 40 years in poultry-
related jobs, including two years working
with chickens as a Peace Corps volunteer.
He spent the last 21 years investigating
poultry processing and food safety issues
as a research physiologist at the Russell
Research Center in Athens, Ga. His PhD
is from the University of Georgia.
Faulty Food Safety and Inspection Service
The most troubling aspect of the
Pathogen Reduction: HACCP Final
Rule is the underlying philosophy that
Salmonella is easy for the processing
plant to control just by avoiding fecal
contamination and using a few antibacterial chemicals. In fact, carcasses
are already contaminated on arrival,
and antibacterial treatments have their
main effect on carcasses carrying low
numbers of Salmonella, making them
test negative by killing or injuring
a few cells. The risk of salmonellosis is not reduced by increasing the
number of false negative tests, even
though that helps plants pass HACCP
The scienti;c literature indicates
that processing plants cannot do
much to control Salmonella if incoming ;ocks are contaminated, but the
Food Safety and Inspection Service
has changed the paradigm. The presence of Salmonella in samples now
indicates “loss of control,” according
to the Food Safety and Inspection
Service. With so many basic fallacies
in the technical analysis of Salmonella
risk, it is unlikely that the current
regulatory path will lead to reductions
in human salmonellosis. ;
John Cason retired from the Agricultural
Research Service of the USDA in
© 2013 Quality Technology International, Inc.
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