National Chicken Council ‘concerned’ about FSIS decision

Group says presence of Salmonella has never rendered raw poultry adulterated.


Krissa Welshans, Feedstuffs 

Aug 04, 2022


The National Chicken Council (NCC) expressed concern this week about USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service’s (FSIS) announcement that it was declaring Salmonella an adulterant in breaded and stuffed raw chicken products.


“NCC is concerned about the precedent set by this abrupt shift in longstanding policy, made without supporting data, for a product category that has only been associated with one outbreak since 2015. It has the potential to shutter processing plants, cost jobs, and take safe food and convenient products off shelves,” stated Ashley Peterson, Ph.D., senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for NCC. “We’re equally concerned that this announcement was not science-based or data-driven.”


Going back to the passage of the Poultry Products Inspection Act in 1957, the mere presence of Salmonella has not rendered raw poultry adulterated, Peterson explained.  “We believe FSIS already has the regulatory and public health tools to work with the industry to ensure the continued safety of these products. We’ve been asking the agency for years to collaborate on these efforts, including two petitions for stricter regulations, requests that have gone largely ignored.”


She continued, “There is no silver bullet or one-size-fits all approach to food safety, which is why we employ a multi-stage strategy. The only way to ensure our food is safe 100% of the time is by following science-based procedures when raising and processing chicken, and by handling and cooking it properly at home.”


FSIS said the products like Chicken Cordon Bleu and Chicken Kiev appear cooked but are not, and continual efforts to improve the product labeling have not been effective at reducing consumer illnesses...