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Salmonella presence on decline
Washington, D.C.-The prevalence of Salmonella in raw meat and poultry is falling, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports.
The prevalence of Salmonella in raw meat andpoultry is falling, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports.
The agency attributes the positive trend to implementation of its HazardAnalysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system, launched in 1998.
At a recent Food Safety Summit in Washington, D.C., Secretary of AgricultureAnn M. Veneman discusses the release of a Food Safety and Inspection Service(FSIS) report showing the drop in prevalence. Veneman says, "Thesefigures help show that HACCP is working, and we are seeing sustained reductionsin foodborne illness as well. However, we must continuously review and examineall of our efforts to ensure the protection of our food supply," shesays.
The new data demonstrate that all categories of product show improvementover baseline studies conducted prior to HACCP implementation, USDA says.
Salmonella is one of the leading causes of foodborne illness, USDA says.Salmonella infections can be life-threatening, especially for infants, thefrail or elderly and persons with chronic disease, with HIV infection ortaking chemotherapy.
Under HACCP, the meat industry has developed plans to prevent hazardsand reduce pathogens. FSIS tests for Salmonella in order to verify thatindustry food safety systems are effective in controlling contaminationof raw meat and poultry products.
USDA says this report is the first aggregate data on all sizes of plants,including very small plants, which came under HACCP in January 2000.
Find more details on the report in the June issue of DVM Newsmagazine.