The Food Safety and Inspection Service has put into effect FSIS Notice 31-11, which sets new performance standards for Salmonella and Campylobacter in chilled carcasses at young chicken and turkey slaughter establishments. 

The new standards apply to verification sample sets that began on or after July 1, 2011. The number of samples collected for young chicken and turkey verification sets will remain the same, but each sample collected in a set will be analyzed for both Salmonella and Campylobacter

Establishments will pass the updated Salmonella standards if the FSIS finds no more than five positive samples in a 51-sample set for young chickens and no more than four positive samples in a 56-sample set for turkeys. Establishments will pass the new Campylobacter standards if the FSIS finds no more than eight positive samples in a 51-sample set for young chickens and no more than three positive samples in a 56-sample set for turkeys. If the FSIS finds more than the acceptable number of samples positive for passing either of the standards at an establishment, the FSIS will collect a follow-up sample set and will analyze those samples for both organisms. To implement the new standards for Campylobacter, the FSIS will move all young chicken and turkey slaughter establishments to the highest priority for scheduling sample sets.

Additionally, this notice:

  • details changed sample collection procedures for both young chickens and turkeys under the new performance standards and includes complete sampling instructions;
  • details changes in FSIS performance standards and notes that the End of Set Letter provided by the FSIS to establishments upon completion of a verification sample set will now include a report of Campylobacter results;
  • provides an Appendix I with pictures of the test kits; and
  • provides an Appendix II with anticipated questions and answers.