Food & Agriculture

CFA Supports Proposed Microbiological Standards for Pork, Asks USDA to Go Further

CFA submitted the following comments in response to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service’s proposed performance standards for Salmonella in raw pork products. Since 2012, when USDA abandoned its sampling program to test compliance with Salmonella performance standards for whole hog carcasses, there has been no uniform microbiological criteria applied to pork processors. CFA’s comments commend the agency for taking the long overdue step of proposing new standards, which will undoubtedly improve food safety by exposing poor performing companies and creating new incentives for investment in reducing pathogen contamination. However, the comments urge the agency to go further. In particular, USDA should develop product standards that better protect consumers from dangerous Salmonella contamination in pork. The agency should also fully enforce existing prohibitions on fecal contamination using available technology such as fluorescent imaging.