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Changes in Salmonella Contamination in Meat and Poultry Since the Introduction of the Pathogen Reduction; Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Rule

In 1996, the Food Safety and Inspection Service published its Pathogen Reduction; Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (PR;HACCP) rule. The intention of this program was to reduce microbial contamination on meat, poultry, and egg products. The program was implemented in stages between January 1998 and January 2000, with sampling for Escherichia coli ( E. coli ) O157:H7 and/or Salmonella in large production establishments beginning in 1998. As the PR;HACCP program begins its third decade, it is reasonable to question whether there have been reductions in the frequency of pathogen-contaminated meat and poultry products reaching consumers. This study summarizes the results for over 650,000 samples collected by the Food Safety and Inspection Service between 2000 and 2018 in slaughter and processing establishments across the United States and compares these results to the roughly 100,000 retail samples collected by the Food and Drug Administration between 2002 and 2017. The data demonstrate that there has been an overall reduction in the occurrence of Salmonella on meat and poultry products, but the direction and magnitude of change has not been consistent over time or across commodities. While the available data do not support the identification of causal factors for the observed changes, a historical review of the timing of various factors and policy decisions generates potential hypotheses for the observed changes.

Williams M, Ebel E, Nyirabahizi E, Saini G. Changes in Salmonella contamination in meat and poultry since the introduction of the pathogen reduction; hazard analysis and critical control point rule. J Food Prot. 2020 May. https://doi.org/10.4315/jfp-20-126