The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has filed a complaint against the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food Safety and Inspection Service, seeking a declaration that the agencies have unreasonably delayed taking action on its May 2011 petition requesting that certain strains of antibiotic-resistant (ABR) Salmonella in ground meat and poultry be declared adulterants. CSPI v. Vilsack, No. 14-895 (U.S. Dist. Ct., D.D.C., filed May 28, 2014). Details about CSPI’s petition appear in Issue 396 of this Update.

According to the nutrition and health advocacy organization, if these pathogens are declared adulterants, affected meat and poultry products would be barred from entering commerce, and the action “would also confirm the agency’s authority to request without evidence of illness that a company recall products containing ABR Salmonella, or—in the absence of a company’s voluntary compliance—to detain and seize those products.” The complaint refers to a number of Salmonella outbreaks, some involving ABR pathogens, that sickened a number of people throughout the United States and have occurred since CSPI filed its petition.