The nation is making little or no progress in preventing bacteria-laden chicken from reaching U.S. supermarkets and sickening thousands of Americans each year, according to Consumer Reports. finding in a recent test that a third of ground chicken samples contained salmonella.
Nearly 1.4 million Americans are infected with salmonella each year, including 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths, with food being the leading source of illness, according to federal health officials. And more than 20% of salmonella illnesses come from eating contaminated poultry, which “remains a significant food safety issue in the US.” according to the US Department of Agriculture
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said last month that it is reconsidering its approach to salmonella in poultry in light of recently published research. The research found that the standards implemented in 2016 significantly reduced salmonella in chicken, but not salmonella-related illnesses linked to poultry consumption.
A rise in antimicrobial-resistant strains is part of the problem, according to the recommendations published by the International Journal of Food Microbiology and published last week by FSIS. The agency is now reviewing whether it needs to change its strategy and plans to hold a public hearing on the matter later this year, he said.
The agency’s review comes amid new findings on poultry from Consumer Reports, which on Friday said it detected salmonella in a third, or 23, of 75 ground chicken samples. tried.
The nonprofit consumer watchdog group found no difference between organic and conventionally raised poultry, with no particular brand standing out as better or worse than others.
“Salmonella in ground chicken is more common than it should be,” said James Rogers, director of food safety research and testing at CR, fixed. “This is not an isolated or contained issue.”
Most people who get sick from salmonella have diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.
Consumer Reports advises grocery shoppers to keep raw meats in a disposable bag, separate from other foods, to reduce the risk of contamination, and not to rinse raw meat, which could spread bacteria. Chicken should be cooked to 165° F.