CSPI petitions FSIS to implement enforceable Salmonella controls, supply chain requirements

John Dillard, a principal attorney in the USDA – FSIS Practice Group, authored the following article on a recent citizen’s petition to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The article appears in The National Provisioner’s March issue.

On Jan. 25, 2021, a coalition of food safety activist groups and individuals led by Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to significantly change course on its approach to regulating Salmonella and Campylobacter.

Specifically, the petition calls for FSIS to: 

  • issue regulations that would establish enforceable standards that target 
  • require slaughter establishments to adopt and implement effective supply chain programs;
  • and publish the final version of its FSIS Compliance Guideline for Controlling Salmonella and Campylobacter in Poultry.  

Targeting Certain Salmonella Strains

CSPI’s petition asserts that FSIS’ current approach to reducing the overall incidence of Salmonella has not had a meaningful effect on reducing human illness rates for Salmonella and Campylobacter infections. CSIPI faults FSIS’ current Salmonella performance standards that focus on all forms of Salmonella.

CSPI argues this non-specific approach means the most common Salmonella serotypes that are highly prevelant in poultry may be eliminated, but the serotypes commonly associated with human illness fail to be addressed. Because of the high prevalence of relatively benign Salmonella isolates, the petitioners argue efforts targeting prevalence alone fail to target the serotypes of greatest risk to consumers.

Continue reading at National Provisioner.