Globalization of the food supply can impact food safety from both a public health and international trade perspective, but insufficient data exist to develop internationally recognized standards. The presence of Salmonella on poultry is an important factor in protecting public health and facilitating trade.
Can an importing country justify on purely scientific grounds a zero-tolerance policy for Salmonella on raw poultry? The term “zero tolerance” for specific pathogens such as Salmonella in raw food products is interpreted differently in different countries and therefore has been confusing, misleading and misapplied. Using terms such as “zero tolerance” or “absence of a bacterium” in relation to raw poultry should be avoided unless these terms are specifically defined and explained by international agreement.