Salmonella declines since HACCP implementation

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The USDA has released figures indicating that, since the implementation of a Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System three years ago, the presence of Salmonella in raw meat and poultry products has declined.

The new data demonstrate that all categories of product show improvement over baseline studies conducted prior to HACCP implementation. Under this system, slaughterhouses and plants establish plans to prevent hazards and reduce pathogens and FSIS tests for Salmonella, to verify that industry food safety systems are effective in controlling contamination of raw meat and poultry.

The USDA released a report that Salmonella was present in 10.2 percent of the broilers sampled in 1998-2000, a 50 percent reduction from baseline estimates taken before HACCP was implemented. Also, only 3.7 percent of ground beef tested positive for the bacteria in 1998-2000.

The prevalence in the samples from calendar year 2000 was even lower—9.1 percent for broilers and 3.3 percent for ground beef. The prevalence in other products in 2000 was 0.4 percent on carcasses of steers and heifers, 2.2 percent on carcasses of cows and bulls, 6.2 percent on carcasses of market hogs, 13.8 percent in ground chicken, and 25.7 percent in ground turkey.

In this issue, see the Veterinary Medicine Today report on Salmonella control at the farm level on page 1919.