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Saturday February 13th, 2016 7:58AM

USDA announces new food safety requirements, inspection system for poultry products

By Staff
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced new food safety requirements and a new inspection system for poultry products.<br /> <br /> USDA calls the move "a critical step" toward "making chicken and turkey products safer for Americans to eat."<br /> <br /> Poultry companies will have to meet new requirements to control Salmonella and Campylobacter, and, according to USDA, up to 5,000 food-borne illnesses will be prevented each year as a result of the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS). The NPIS is described as an updated science-based inspection system that positions food safety inspectors throughout poultry facilities in a smarter way.<br /> <br /> "The United States has been relying on a poultry inspection model that dates back to 1957, while rates of food-borne illness due to Salmonella and Campylobacter remain stubbornly high. The system we are announcing today imposes stricter requirements on the poultry industry and places our trained inspectors where they can better ensure food is being processed safely. These improvements make use of sound science to modernize food safety procedures and prevent thousands of illnesses each year," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.<br /> <br /> FSIS will now require that all poultry companies take measures to prevent Salmonella and Campylobactercontamination, rather than addressing contamination after it occurs. Also for the first time ever, all poultry facilities will be required to perform their own microbiological testing at two points in their production process to show that they are controlling Salmonella and Campylobacter. These requirements are in addition to FSIS' own testing, which the agency will continue to perform.<br /> <br /> Click on the link below for more information - and to view the final rule that will soon publish in the Federal Register, visit the FSIS website atwww.fsis.usda.gov/poultryinspection .
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