FSIS sets final policy on controversial salmonella rule; industry responds

The Meatingplace reported that the USDA/FSIS has issued its final rule on Salmonella as an adulterant in raw breaded stuffed chicken products, declaring that when the bacteria exceed 1 CFU per gram or higher for Salmonella contamination. In a news release, the agency said the final rule will go into effect 12 months after publication in the Federal Register; publication is likely next week. The announcement caps a long, controversial effort to stem the incidence of consumers becoming ill from eating raw poultry products that may appear cooked and not handled appropriately or fully cooked in the home. One change in the final rule is that FSIS will carry out verification procedures, including sampling and testing the raw incoming chicken component of these products, before stuffing and breading, instead of testing the original product. In a statement released today, NCC President Mike Brown said it is "gravely concerned that the precedent set by this abrupt shift in longstanding policy has the potential to shutter processing plants, cost jobs, and take safe food and convenient products off shelves. [Meanwhile,] the agency has no idea if this will move the needle on public health." NCC estimates that on an annual basis, more than 200 million servings of this product will be lost, 500 to 1,000 people will lose their jobs, and the annual cost to industry will be significantly higher than USDA's estimates. @https://www.meatingplace.com/Industry/News/Details/114333




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