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Information on global poultry, pig and animal feed markets.

John Cason

John Cason retired from the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA in 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.

ARTICLES

FOOD SAFETY INSPECTION OF POULTRY

Why food safety inspection of poultry is on the wrong track

Fallacies in the technical analysis of Salmonella risk make it unlikely that the current regulatory path in meat and poultry inspection will lead to reductions in human salmonellosis.
With health statistics in the United States showing no change in human salmonellosis since the introduction of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points 15 years ago, and despite a considerable reduction in incidence of Salmonella in raw products, what can be said about the failure of HACCP’s promise to reduce human illness?
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Will tougher Salmonella standards for poultry reduce human illness?

FSIS analyzes Salmonella trends in HACCP samples using data the agency has described as 'no longer useful as an indicator of trends.'
Despite all of the Salmonella data collected by different agencies, there is no clear evidence that HACCP has reduced the incidence of human salmonellosis or that a further tightening of HACCP standards will produce an improvement in the future.
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El problema de las pruebas de prevalencia de la salmonela en el pollo

La determinación de la prevalencia de la salmonela de HACCP no tiene relación alguna con el riesgo real de enfermedades en el ser humano de la salmonela en el pollo.
La determinación de la cantidad de células de Salmonella en muestras de enjuague de pollo sale cara, por lo que generalmente en dichas muestras sólo determinan la presencia de este microorganismo, con lo cual los resultados notificados son de prevalencia o el porcentaje total de muestras positivas.
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FOOD SAFETY IN POULTRY

The problem with Salmonella prevalence testing in chicken

HACCP Salmonella prevalence testing has no relationship to the actual risk of human illness associated with Salmonella in chicken.
HACCP Salmonella prevalence testing has no relationship to the actual risk of human illness associated with Salmonella in chicken.
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HACCP as used by poultry processors much different from NASA version

The two HACCP systems do not produce the same results, as shown by the failure of meat and poultry HACCP to reduce the rate of human salmonellosis.
The Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point system used today by meat and poultry processors, as regulated by the Food Safety and Inspection service, is much different than the version of HACCP as developed by Pillsbury and NASA in the late 1960s.
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FOOD SAFETY

Unscientific thinking about Salmonella control hampers food safety progress

HACCP in poultry inspection has to be judged objectively on its merits, not by what we wish that it might have done.
Several recent scientific papers have concluded that only limited data are available to judge whether national Salmonella control programs have had an impact on human illness rates. There is no limit, however, on the supply of speculative interpretation that is available, including a common style of analysis that can be described as unscientific thinking.
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FOOD SAFETY

Regulatory HACCP in poultry: Still in search of the science

The basic microbiological assumptions for the argument that Salmonella can be controlled in the poultry processing plant have not been confirmed.
The 1996 Pathogen Reduction: Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Final Rule was one of the earliest claims that processing plants can control the prevalence of pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella on raw meat and poultry. Previously, most authorities believed that Salmonella controls could be successful only at the farm level or in post-processing kill steps such as cooking or irradiation.
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FOOD SAFETY

FSIS should release data on generic E. coli and Salmonella in poultry

The Food Safety and Inspection Service has a mountain of unreleased data on the supposed relationship between generic E. coli and Salmonella in poultry samples. FSIS should release the data immediately.
In January, the Food Safety and Inspection Service published a proposed rule, “Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection,” with important changes in the rules of processing, including the intention of FSIS to drop the requirement that plants test chilled carcasses for E. coli. Individual establishments will be allowed to use “other, more relevant” but unspecified indicators of process control, with individual HACCP plans identifying what bacterial monitoring is to be done. Dropping the E. coli testing requirement is a sharp departure from the dogma of poultry HACCP as mandated by FSIS in the last 15 years.
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FOOD SAFETY

Changing methods in Salmonella sampling make comparisons uncertain

Non-validated changes in the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s Salmonella sampling and lab methods make comparisons uncertain.
How has Salmonella prevalence changed in poultry since the implementation of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point regulations by the Food Safety and Inspection Service in 1998? Nobody can say with assurance. Comparing test results over time demands continuity in testing methods. Unfortunately, the lack of continuity in regulatory sampling of raw meat and poultry makes it impossible to say with any confidence exactly how Salmonella prevalence has changed in the last 15 years.
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FOOD SAFETY

HACCP sampling schedule affects Salmonella prevalence

Scheduling of HACCP verification samples can interact with seasonal variation to affect Salmonella prevalence estimates.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service says that the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point system is the foundation of its “strategic, data-driven inspection program,” but scheduling of HACCP verification sampling sometimes drives the Salmonella data. A limited amount of quarterly Salmonella information is available for analysis, but it shows the limitations of the Salmonella prevalence data that the service uses to justify policy.
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