Friday, December 11, 2015

DeLauro Statement on USDA Report on Poultry and Salmonella

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today released the following statement on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s revised guidelines assisting poultry processors in controlling Salmonella and Campylobacter in raw food products and preventing cases of foodborne illness.

“As a new wave of food-borne illnesses affects the nation, families around the country are gathering for the holidays and are at risk of falling seriously ill from mishandled poultry. Salmonella is one of the most common causes of foodborne illness and is responsible for more hospitalizations and deaths than any other foodborne pathogen,” said Rosa DeLauro. “While the new guidelines issued by the USDA are an important step, the USDA should declare Salmonella an adulterant as part of their work to protect American consumers from foodborne public health threats. American consumers are counting on the USDA to use the authority it has to prevent unnecessary illnesses and deaths.”

Recently, a number of outbreaks of salmonella and other forms of food poisoning have prompted the USDA to release these updated food guidelines. Today’s updated document is the fourth edition of the “FSIS Compliance Guideline for Controlling Salmonella and Campylobacter in Raw Poultry” and is intended to offer poultry companies best practices for minimizing pathogen levels and meeting FSIS’ food safety requirements. The guidelines also include information regarding interventions companies can take on the farm, sanitary dressing procedures, processing practices, antimicrobial interventions, and other management practices.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted that more than 48 million people suffer from food-borne illnesses each year. Approximately 3,000 people die while another 128,000 are hospitalized. In the latest high-profile outbreak of food poisoning, fresh cucumbers killed four Americans and left 157 others hospitalized

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