Infectious Diseases 2021

Infectious Diseases 2021

Broad coalition calls for modernization of poultry food safety

7 September, 2021

A broad coalition of four major poultry producers, Consumer advocates, food poisoning survivors, and scientists jointly asked the Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to meet with them to hash out a modernized, science-based approach to reducing salmonella and campylobacter illnesses in poultry production.
The letter (see attached) sent to Vilsack reads, “While progress on reducing foodborne illness has been at a standstill, scientific knowledge of Salmonella has greatly increased and recognized best practices for Campylobacter and other pathogens has advanced. Science tells us that current performance standards do not effectively target the particular types of Salmonella and the levels of bacteria that pose the greatest risks of illness, and the overall regulatory framework does not adequately harness modern tools for preventing and verifying control of the bacteria that are making people sick.”
Illnesses from Salmonella and Campylobacter, which are commonly found on poultry, account for 70 percent of the foodborne illnesses tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These bacteria sicken 3 million people and cost about $6 billion annually.