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USDA Makes Tough New Safety Standards For Chicken, Turkey

Cracking Down On Contaminated Meat

In an effort to fight foodborne illness, the USDA has just announced tougher food safety rules for chicken and turkey farms.

Poultry farms are already required to send samples of their chicken and turkey meat to the USDA for testing, but the USDA is now stricter about how many of those carcasses can test positive for salmonella and Campylobacter. While 20 percent of carcasses could test positively for salmonella and 40 percent for Campylobacter by the old rules, now companies are required to have no greater than 7.5 percent and 10 percent of the carcasses test positively for salmonella and Campylobacter respectively.

Salmonella and Campylobacter are the two most common foodborne illnesses and can be life threatening.

Feeling Better Already

Says Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Under Secretary for Food Safety:

These improved standards will drive the industry to do better. They are tough but achievable. And when fully implemented, they will prevent tens of thousands of Americans from getting sick.

The Food and Safety Inspection Service estimates that the new standards will prevent 25,000 salmonella and Campylobacter illnesses each year.

These requirements, which update the old rules from 1996, are a result of President Obama's Food Safety Working Group.

Read More:

  • USDA Sets New Standards for Reducing Foodborne Pathogens in Chickens and Turkeys, Preventing Up To 25,000 Illnesses (USDA)
  • Chicken, turkey may sicken 55K fewer under new USDA rules (USA Today)

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