The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service recently released its testing results for Salmonella and Campylobacter on broiler and turkey carcasses as well as in ground turkey, chicken and beef for the fourth quarter. The incidence of Salmonella found on broiler carcasses was 4.6 percent after being at 4.3 and 4.2 percent in the second and third quarters, respectively. The incidence of Salmonella in USDA samples of turkey carcasses was 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter after being 2.0 and 1.1 percent in the second and third quarters of 2012, respectively.

The fourth quarter Salmonella test results for ground beef was 1.2 percent positive for Salmonella. The quarterly average reported for ground beef from the beginning of 2006 until the third quarter of 2012 have never gone above 3.0 percent positive samples, and the second and third quarter results for 2012 were 2.0 and 1.1 percent respectively.

Performance for ground turkey and ground chicken has not been as good as for ground beef, but the incidence of Salmonella in USDA samples of both of these ground poultry products appears to be trending down. The incidence of Salmonella in the USDA’s fourth quarter tests for ground chicken and ground turkey were 23.9 and 11.5 percent, respectively.

The USDA began reporting test results for the incidence of Campylobacter-positive broiler and turkey carcasses in the third quarter of 2011. Campylobacter was found on 8.2 percent of broiler carcasses tested in the fourth quarter by the USDA, up from 5.6 and 6.1 percent of broiler carcasses in the second and third quarters, respectively, of 2012. Campylobacter was found on 2.7 percent of turkey carcasses tested in the fourth quarter of 2012, up from with 1.9 and 2.5 percent positive carcasses found by USDA in the second and third quarters of 2012, respectively.