House Food Safety Working Group's (WHFSWG) "Key Findings" report
has a section labeled "Cutting Salmonella Risk in Poultry
Products". Before that bullet,
the report says "Two Federal agencies are now making progress to
reduce illness caused by Salmonella." www.foodsafetyworkinggroup.gov/FSWG_Key_Findings.pdf.
Wow, I only wish it were true. I wish this were the "change"
people voted for. But the WHFSWG fails to consider recent history, so I
will attempt to do that here.
of 2005, FSIS convened a two day meeting in Athens, GA, to listen to consumer
advocates, industry scientists, university researchers and FSIS employees
on how best to reduce high rate of positive poultry carcass rinses testing
positive for Salmonella. As a result
of that meeting, another two day meeting was convened in Atlanta, GA, on
February 23, 2006, to announce the Salmonella Initiative and its eleven
steps. Further enhancements to the initiative were announced in 2008.
result of the Salmonella Initiative, and the industry efforts, positive
carcass rinses dropped from 16.3 % in 2005 to only 8.5 % in 2007. www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5714a2.htm
Yet, this same MMWR report showed that food borne illnesses from Salmonella
did not decline during the same time period.
after FSIS began to see the positive numbers decline, a new effort to
establish a new standard for the Salmonella base line was initiated. The
"Key Findings" says that FSIS is developing "new standards
to reduce the prevalence of Salmonella in turkeys and poultry", yet
that effort was begun under the previous administration, not the new one.
So where is the "change" that will "reduce illness caused by
dropping the rate of positive carcasses by nearly 50% did not reduce
illness, then how is a new standard going to reduce illness? Maybe the
"change" we need is testing of chicken parts and mechanically
separated meat instead of carcasses? After all, when was the last time you
bought a whole carcass?