Updated Salmonella & Campylobacter Poultry Guidelines
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) released new guidelines for controlling Salmonella and Campylobacter in raw poultry. Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria are responsible for 3 million illnesses per year, which account for more than 70% of the foodborne illnesses tracked by the CDC, costing roughly $6 billion annually. The guidelines help poultry establishments, including those that are small and very small, identify and implement pre- and post-harvest interventions to control Salmonella and Campylobacter as part of their HACCP systems. Additionally, the guidelines help the establishments utilize microbial testing results to monitor the performance of the HACCP systems and inform decision-making as related to hazard control.
On December 16, 2015, FSIS published a Federal Register notice announcing the availability of and opportunity to comment on the revised compliance guideline for controlling Salmonella and Campylobacter in raw poultry. This revision was the fourth edition of the guideline that FSIS had developed to assist establishments that slaughter or process raw poultry products to minimize or prevent the risk of Salmonella and Campylobacter in their operations. In July 2021, FSIS updated the guideline contents to reflect the most recent best practices, including use of neutralizing agents in sampling to prevent carryover of antimicrobial substances and a current list of antimicrobials for establishment use. FSIS also included improvements in the information on pre-harvest practices, with a comprehensive revision of the litter/bedding section. Notably, FSIS issued this revised document as two separate guidelines, one focused on the control of Salmonella and the other on Campylobacter.
The guidelines do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to be binding. The documents are intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or FSIS policies. Comments are no longer accepted on the guidelines, but FSIS will update the guidelines as necessary if new relevant information becomes available.