The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report assessing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) current approach to Salmonella and Campylobacter in chicken and turkey products and recommending that the agriculture secretary direct the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to take steps to improve the approach. The report reviews past USDA action on these pathogens, including the establishment of standards limiting Campylobacter contamination and the tightening of existing Salmonella contamination standards. GAO recommended that the agriculture secretary direct FSIS to develop Salmonella and Campylobacter performance measures to monitor whether efforts to bring processing plants into compliance with the poultry products standards are meeting the agency’s goals. GAO also recommended that effectiveness measures be included in future revisions of compliance guidelines for controlling the pathogens. According to the report, USDA agrees with the recommendations.
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USDA should strengthen approach to pathogens in poultry products, GAO says
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