Salmonella and the USDA Action Plan
Laurie Greene, Associate Editor
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service
(FSIS) released its Salmonella
Action Plan midweek that outlines the steps it will take to
address the most pressing problem it faces—Salmonella in meat and poultry
estimated 1.3 million illnesses can be attributed to Salmonella every year and
it is the
leading cause of hospitalizations and deaths from foodborne disease. Because of
the major public health role of Salmonella infections, the US Department of
Health and Human Services has made decreasing the nationwide incidence of these
infections by 25% a Healthy People 2020
|CDC National Surveillance Data, updated 1/14/13|
infections in California between 1998 and 2011 have remained between the range
of 3000 and 5400.
the 2013 sources of Salmonella in the U.S. are chicken, poultry, tahini paste,
cucumbers, and beef.
Although outbreak data provide one of the only direct connections between food
sources and infection, outbreak investigations are frequently unable to confirm
the single contaminated food vehicle, limiting the ability to detect major
changes over time.
too many Americans are sickened by Salmonella every year. The aggressive and
comprehensive steps detailed in the Salmonella Action Plan will protect
consumers by making meat and poultry products safer,” said Under Secretary for
Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen.
the outdated poultry slaughter inspection system and focusing inspectors’
duties solely on food safety could prevent at least 5,000 illnesses prevented
|CDC FOOD Tool. Data for 2013, to date.|
Salmonella sampling and testing programs, factoring in the latest
scientific information available and emerging trends in foodborne illness will
also contribute to prevention.
will drive innovations, establish new performance standards, develop new
strategies for inspection throughout the full farm-to-table continuum, address
all potential sources of Salmonella, and focus on the Agency’s
Salmonella education and outreach tools to lower Salmonella contamination
to previous innovative technologies and tough USDA policies, Salmonella
rates in young chickens have dropped over 75 percent since 2006.
research on Salmonella continues. California scientists have been investigating
Salmonella vaccines, links between Salmonella serotypes and specific foods,
hypervirulent strains of Salmonella, prevalence of salmonella in a specific
agricultural region in California, and, incredibly, re-engineering the
bacteria’s structure to secrete spider silk proteins instead of proteins
associated with infection.
L. Pitts, MPH, Associate Director of Communications, Division of Foodborne,
Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases/National Center for Emerging and
Zoonotic Infectious Diseases/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; MarlerBlog.com
Labels: California poultry, California Salmonella Outbreaks, Salmonella and the USDA Action Plan, USDA Salmonella Action Plan Presents Aggressive Steps for Illness Prevention