The rate of salmonella falls in first quarter of 2006

Published 30 June 2006

Salmonella in raw meat products has fallen in the first quarter of 2006 owing to changes in the FSIS inspection of processing plants, reporting, and product testing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has stepped up its efforts in reducing the occurrence of salmonella in the nation’s ram meat products. In February FSIS announced several changes to the agency’s salmonella testing program, including a faster reporting of results to detect problems quicker. The agency in particular will increase the inspections of processing plants which produce the salmonella-infected meats. Food safety has become an increasingly familiar topic among average Americans, thus, placing pressure on the processing industry to produce safer food products. The FSIS plans to concentrate its testing at plants with higher levels of Salmonella. The unit will also make changes to the reporting and use of the FSIS’ Salmonella verification test results. The effort will be modeled on the successful FSIS program to reduce the presence of E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef. The FSIS E. coli O157:H7 program led to a 40 per cent reduction in human illnesses associated with the pathogen, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).