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New Computer Modeling Program Evaluates Potential Salmonella Risk From Poultry

By Doris Stanley
February 24, 1998

A new computer modeling program helps poultry companies and regulatory agencies make important food safety decisions that safeguard public health. Agricultural Research Service scientists who developed the program say it evaluates risk of Salmonella infection from poultry produced by specific farm-to-table scenarios.

Available on a floppy disk, the program can also be used to create new models for other pathogens like E. coli and Campylobacter, and other foods including ground beef and apple cider. It's ideal for evaluating the impact of new intervention methods--such as irradiation--on the risk of foodborne disease in humans. And it can also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the Administration's new HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) program that began January 26.

Two major poultry producers are testing the new modeling system. The model is easy to use. Available at no cost, it was developed by the Microbial Food Safety Research Unit at Princess Anne, Md., a satellite of ARS' Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, Pa.

The modeling system is one of 15 products ARS is presenting today to the Senate Appropriation Committee's Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies. These products represent transfer of research technology from ARS laboratories to industry and consumers.

Scientific contact: Tom Oscar, USDA-ARS Eastern Regional Research Center, Microbial Food Safety Research Unit, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD 21853; phone (410) 651-6062, fax (410) 651-6568, toscar@umes-bird.umd.edu.

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