Meat/Poultry Inspection

Statement of CFA Director of Food Policy Thomas Gremillion on USDA Proposed Regulatory Framework to Reduce Salmonella Illnesses Attributable to Poultry

This announcement takes consumers a step closer towards common sense protections that could prevent hundreds of thousands of Salmonella infections. Much work remains, but Secretary Vilsack and Under Secretary Eskin deserve credit for moving forward on a regulatory fix that has been needed for decades. By replacing current, unenforceable, Salmonella standards with mandatory, product-based standards, USDA can finally begin to reduce the share of salmonellosis cases caused by poultry, which currently stands at over 23%. By requiring poultry processors to test live birds for Salmonella, USDA can help to prevent outbreaks that originate with poultry breeders, just two of which supply the vast majority of poultry processing companies in the U.S. The details matter, however. If USDA settles on Salmonella product standards that do not challenge the industry to clean up its act, or that only apply to a narrow range of products, consumers will still get sick. We look forward to continuing to work with USDA leadership to ensure that this regulatory initiative lives up to its potential, and offers consumers meaningful protections against Salmonella in poultry.