The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has released its Salmonella Action Plan to address the estimated 1.3 million illnesses caused by the pathogen each year.
“Far too many Americans are sickened by Salmonella every year,” said Under Secretary for Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen. “The aggressive and comprehensive steps detailed in the Salmonella Action Plan will protect consumers by making meat and poultry products safer.”
The plan identifies modernizing the outdated poultry slaughter inspection system as a top priority and states that the move “is likely to result in a reduction of at least 4,286 Salmonella illnesses per year in the United States.”
It proceeds to lay out the goals of enhancing sampling programs, training for inspection staff, and education and outreach.
The action plan notes that there is evidence from outbreak data that pork products contribute to Salmonella illnesses, stating, “Decreasing sanitary dressing problems in hog slaughter establishments, particularly related to removing the skin, could decrease a source of Salmonella on carcasses.” So FSIS plans to publish a directive of instructions for inspectors on the verification activities related to sanitary dressing procedures in hog slaughter operations.
FSIS also stated that the agency needs to develop new enforcement strategies, could modify how it posts Salmonella categories, and will explore how lymph nodes contribute to Salmonella poisoning.© Food Safety News