The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has announced new steps to protect consumers by improving the food safety plans required for companies that produce poultry products.
Companies producing raw ground chicken and turkey and similar products will be required to reassess their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points plans. The HACCP reassessment, which establishments must conduct in the next 90 days, must account for several Salmonella outbreaks that were associated with those types of products.
"HACCP reassessments improve a company's ability to identify hazards and better prevent foodborne illness," said USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen. "Incorporating information obtained from Salmonella outbreaks will enhance food safety efforts, helping to avoid future outbreaks and ensure a safer food supply for consumers."
The FSIS also announced that it will:
- expand the Salmonella verification sampling program to include other raw comminuted poultry products, in addition to ground product;
- increase the sample size for laboratory analysis from 25 grams to 325 grams to provide consistency as the agency moves toward analyzing samples for Salmonella and Campylobacter; and
- conduct sampling to determine the prevalence of Salmonella in not-ready-to-eat comminuted poultry products and use the results to develop new performance standards for those products.