Salmonella Standards: FSIS Turns its Focus to Pork


By Jennifer Shike, FarmJournal's Pork

July 28, 2022


The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is taking a closer look at Salmonella performance standards for livestock as part of a comprehensive approach to reduce human illness by Salmonella by 25%.


Last October, FSIS announced it would be mobilizing a stronger and more comprehensive effort to reduce Salmonella illnesses associated with poultry products. Now, it's turning to raw pork products. FSIS published its concerns in a study, “Temporal Changes in the Proportion of Salmonella Outbreaks Associated with Twelve Broad Commodity Classes in the United States,” in Epidemiology & Infection.


In the study, authors examined changes in the proportion of foodborne Salmonella outbreaks attributed to 12 commodity groups between 1998 and 2017. Pork demonstrated a significant increasing trend between 1998 and 2017, the authors said. The estimated proportion of Salmonella outbreaks attributable to pork increased from 4% to 18%—while the proportion of outbreaks for other commodity groups remained unchanged or steady during the 20-year study period.


“Amongst meat and poultry commodities, the consistent and significant increase in the proportion of pork-associated outbreaks is of concern,” authors Michael S. Williams and Eric D. Ebel said in the paper. “Pork ranks as the third most frequently consumed meat commodity in the United States, yet only the chicken and the fruits–nuts commodities are responsible for a larger average proportion of outbreaks in the later years of the dataset. This suggests that the risk of illness per serving from pork may have increased and is high relative to the other meat and poultry commodities.”


FSIS plans to use the study's results, in addition to public comments on the proposed performance standards for Salmonella on pork products, to inform the development of new policies targeted to reduce Salmonella illnesses linked to pork.


Pigs and Poultry Can’t Be Compared ...


Limitations of the Study ...


Industry Commitment ...