Location: Poultry Microbiological Safety Research
Title: Feasibility of zero tolerance for Salmonella on raw poultry Authors
Submitted to: International Poultry Scientific Forum
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 22, 2009
Publication Date: January 25, 2010
Citation: Cox Jr, N.A., Doyle, M.P., Richardson, L.J., Cason Jr, J.A., Cray, P.J., Smith, D.P., Buhr, R.J. 2010. Feasibility of zero tolerance for Salmonella on raw poultry. International Poultry Scientific Forum. January 25 - 26, 2010. Atlanta, GA. Technical Abstract: Ideally, poultry producing countries around the globe should use internationally standardized sampling methods for Salmonella. It is difficult to compare prevalence data from country-to-country when sample plan, sample type, sample frequency and laboratory media along with methods differ. The European Union (E.U.) and the United States (U.S.) have different Salmonella sampling methods for broiler carcasses. The E.U. uses a 3 carcass composite of neck skin totaling 25g and stomachs this in buffered peptone water (BPW). In the U.S., the whole carcass is rinsed with 400 ml BPW but only 30 ml (or 7.5%) of this is analyzed. When a side-by-side comparison was done, the whole carcass rinse (WCR), the neck skin (NS) and a composite of both methods detected Salmonella on 71/357 (20%), 61/357 (17.1%) and 110/357 (30.8%) of the broiler carcasses, respectively. Given the insensitivity of both methods, it is not surprising that both methods produced false negatives. In addition to sampling and laboratory methods, other fundamental differences exist between E.U. and U.S. E.U. uses dry chill and no chemicals in the processing plant, while the U.S. uses immersion chill with a variety of chemicals. E.U. applies pressure in live production while the U.S. applies pressure during processing. E.U. considers Salmonella presence on a processed carcass to be a sanitation indicator while in the U.S. it’s a food safety issue. The E.U. (except Scandinavia) is concerned primarily about 5 serotypes (S. Enteritidis, S. Typhimurium, S. Hadar, S. Infantis and S. Virchow) while the U.S. is concerned about all serotypes. Monitoring and surveillance programs are used internationally, therefore what exactly does zero tolerance mean? It was created by politicians to assure food safety, but gives consumers a false sense of security and can be misleading. A guarantee that all raw poultry meat will be Salmonella free is impractical. Absence in a sample(s) does not mean zero tolerance and zero tolerance does not mean eradication. Also as test methods become more sensitive, zero changes. Countries should try to use internationally standardized methods for sampling and participate in harmonizing international standards along with terminology for Salmonella on poultry.