USDA-logoThe United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) have announced new food safety measures that are directed at producers of poultry and their products.

The companies dealing in poultry and their products will be required to look into their HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) within a period of 90 days so that they can account for salmonella outbreaks that have happened recently.

The HACCP should be reassessed so as to improve companies’ ability to identifying hazards and to prevent illness that is foodborne. USDA wants to ensure that information that has been obtained from outbreaks is incorporated to prevent any future outbreaks, as well as ensuring that the food supply is safer for consumers.

The agency also plans to expand its salmonellas verification-sampling program to increase sample size that will be used for lab analysis and testing salmonella prevalence.

The FSIS announced the following:

  • It will expand its salmonella verification-sampling program so as to include raw poultry products.
  • It will increase lab-analysis sample sizes to 325gms from 25gms so that the agency can have consistency in analyzing samples, in particular for Campylobacter and Salmonella.
  • It will conduct sampling aimed at determining salmonella prevalence in raw or not-ready-to-eat poultry products. The results will be used to come up with performance standards for these products.

The announcement is a significant health measure by the FSIS whose goal is to safeguard food supply, boost consumer knowledge on the food that they are eating, and to prevent any foodborne illness. The President’s Food Safety Working Group had three principles: to strengthen enforcement and surveillance, prioritize prevention, and improve recovery and response.