FSIS implements new Salmonella sampling “fix.”
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulates the production of poultry products. As part of its regulatory activities, FSIS conducts testing for Salmonella. In this context, concerns arose regarding whether the use of antimicrobial sanitizers in poultry facilities may be masking the presence of Salmonella during testing, effectively generating false negatives. FSIS requested that USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) investigate the issue further.
- Effective July 1, 2016, FSIS implemented a new “fix” to address the risk of false negatives. In a two-page Notice issued to FSIS inspectors, the Agency now will require the use of a “neutralizing buffer” solution to reduce the effect of any carryover antimicrobial sanitizers on test results.
- Particularly in light of FSIS’s broader “Salmonella Action Plan” and the Agency’s goal of a 25% reduction in Salmonella illnesses linked to meat and poultry products by 2020, the meat and poultry industry should stay tuned for developments in this area and their potential to affect or influence the use of antimicrobial solutions and technologies.