11 August 2023
In 2021, members of the undersigned groups petitioned USDA to reform its poultry Salmonella regulations due to the lack of progress in reducing human illnesses.10 The petition asked for enforceable final product standards that would disallow the sale to consumers of products with concerning types of Salmonella contamination, whether that be determined by the presence of specific Salmonella subtype. [...] Members of the undersigned groups also joined with leading industry members, food safety scientists, and regulators to form the Coalition for Poultry Safety Reform to push FSIS to modify its regulatory system to better address Salmonella.11 Members of the Coalition agree that the current performance standards are not leading to the desired public health outcomes. [...] FSIS will reassess its traditional view of Salmonella as ‘naturally occurring’ in other poultry products in the near future as it develops a new strategy to control Salmonella in poultry products.35 FSIS has proposed that Salmonella is an added substance in NRTE breaded stuffed poultry products, based on the fact that it is not normally found in the muscle tissue of healthy birds, and that “[f]urt. [...] Most recently, USDA commented on the adulteration standard in responding to three regulatory petitions submitted by consumer advocates, including members of the undersigned groups.48,4950 Two of these petitions, submitted by Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), asked USDA to declare specific strains of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella to be adulterants on the ground that the genes conf. [...] As the agency notes in the proposed determination, the same (g)(3) provision formed the basis of the agency’s conclusion, issued in 2012, that products linked to an outbreak are considered adulterated.55 We agree with the agency that because Salmonella can survive ordinary handling and cooking practices for NRTE breaded stuffed chicken products, products contaminated with Salmonella at levels suff.