ACCORDING to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety & Inspection Service's (FSIS) "Quarterly Progress Reports on Salmonella & Campylobacter Testing of Selected Raw Meat & Poultry Products" released Oct. 25, the prevalence of salmonella on raw young chicken carcasses is down 34% over the first quarter of 2013 and represents a decrease of more than 120% during the past five years, the National Chicken Council reported.
The FSIS report contains testing information for the April 1 through June 30 period and includes results for whole and ground chicken and turkey as well as for ground beef.
Specifically for young chicken carcasses, 2,955 samples were collected and analyzed, with a positive rate of only 2.6% for salmonella — a fraction of the FSIS performance standard of 7.5% for young chicken carcasses.
The same samples were also analyzed for campylobacter, and while the percent positive remained unchanged from the first quarter of 2013, it represents a decrease of almost 50% since FSIS began testing for campylobacter on post-chill young chicken carcasses in 2011, the council said.
"Overall, the results presented in this quarterly report indicate that we continue to make improvements in the incidence rate of salmonella and campylobacter on young chicken carcasses," said Ashley Peterson, National Chicken Council vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs.