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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION AND GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT ECOLOGY OF COMMENSAL HUMAN FOOD-BORNE BACTERIAL PATHOGENS IN THE CHICKEN Title: Scientific and technical factors affecting the setting of salmonella criteria for raw poultry: a global perspective 73:(8) 1566-1590

item Mead, Geoffery -
item Lammerding, Anna -
item Cox, Nelson
item Doyle, Michael -
item Humbert, Florence -
item Kulikovskiy, Alex -
item Panin, Alexander -
item Nascimento, Vladimir -
item Wierup, Martin -
item Biggs, Roy -
item Buhr, Richard
item Cahill, Sarah -
item Cason Jr, John
item Chalermchaikit, Thongchai -
item Filho, Raphael -
item Forshell, Laris -
item Hidalgo, Hector -
item Hofacre, Charles -
item Hupkes, Henk -
item Landinez, Martha -
item Madsen, Mogens -
item Mulder, Roel -
item Richardson, Larry
item Shi, Zian-Ming -
item Smith, Doug -
item Toyofuku, Hajime -
item Tuominen, Pirkko -
item Uyttendaele, Mieke -
item Zwietering, Marcel -

Submitted to: Journal of Food Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 9, 2010
Publication Date: August 1, 2010
Citation: Mead, G.C., Lammerding, A., Cox Jr, N.A., Doyle, M.P., Humbert, F., Kulikovskiy, A., Panin, A., Nascimento, V., Wierup, M., Biggs, R., Buhr, R.J., Cahill, S., Cason Jr, J.A., Chalermchaikit, T., Filho, R., Forshell, L., Hidalgo, H., Hofacre, C., Hupkes, H., Landinez, M., Madsen, M., Mulder, R., Richardson, L.J., Shi, Z., Smith, D., Toyofuku, H., Tuominen, P., Uyttendaele, M., Zwietering, M. 2010. Scientific and technical factors affecting the setting of salmonella criteria for raw poultry: a global perspective. Journal of Food Protection. 73(8):1566-1590.

Interpretive Summary: Scientific and technical factors affecting the setting of Salmonella criteriafor raw poultry: a global perspective Interpretive Summary With reference to salmonella on broiler carcasses it is difficult to compare prevalence data from country to country because sampling plans, sample types, sample frequency and laboratory media along with other methods differ. Therefore what exactly does the phrase “zero tolerance” mean? Many countries use this terminology but it was created by politicians to assure food safety, however it is very misleading and gives consumers a false sense of security. Countries should try to use internationally standardized methods for sampling and standardize terminology for Salmonella prevalence on poultry.

Technical Abstract: Concerns about foodborne salmonellosis have led many countries to introduce microbiological criteria for certain food products . If such criteria are not well-grounded in science, they can be an unjustified obstacle to trade. Raw poultry products are an important part of the global food market. Import/export ambiguities, as well as regulatory confusion resulting from different Salmonella requirements ,were the impetus for convening an international group of scientific experts from 16 countries to discuss the scientific and technical factors that affect the setting of a microbiological criterion for Salmonella contaminatio0n of raw chicken. A particular concern for the group was the use of criteria implying a “ zero tolerance” for Salmonella and suggesting complete absence of the pathogen. The notion can be interpreted differently by various stakeholders and was considered inappropriate because there is neither an effective means of eliminating Salmonella from raw poultry nor any practical method for verifying its absence. Therefore it may be more useful at present to set food-safety metrics that involve reductions in hazard levels. Using terms such as “zero tolerance”or “absence of a microbe” in relation to raw poultry should be avoided unless defined and explained by international agreement. Risk assessment provides a more meaningful approach than a zero-tolerance philosophy and new metrics, such as performance objectives that are linked to human health outcomes, should be utilized throughout the food chain to help in defining risk and identifying ways to reduce adverse effects on public health.

Last Modified: 11/26/2015
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