USDA launches salmonella action plan

USDA launches salmonella action plan

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), salmonella is responsible for making nearly 1.3 million people sick each year.

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is hoping to decrease those numbers drastically with the development of a “Salmonella Action Plan.”

“Far too many Americans are sickened by salmonella every year. The aggressive and comprehensive steps detailed in the Salmonella Action Plan will protect consumers by making meat and poultry products safer,” said Under Secretary for Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen, in a USDA press release.

With more than 48 million people contracting some type of food poisoning each year, they are not taking the issue lightly. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Salmonella is one of the biggest culprits of these poisonings. Salmonella bacteria causes an infection with symptoms of diarrhea, fevers and stomach cramps lasting up to a week.

The goal of the plan is to identify key areas for improvement in the inspection processes for meat and poultry products.

They are starting by taking a deeper look into the outdated poultry slaughter inspection system. The USDA hopes that by concentrating on exclusively on food safety inspectors’ responsibilities that they can help prevent about 5,000 foodborne-related sicknesses a year.

The USDA will also be improving sampling and testing platforms for salmonella, in order to make sure the regulations and guidelines are up to date with evolving developments in foodborne illness.

Other items under the plan include providing inspectors with more vital tools to detect issues before they spread.

In the last seven years the USDA has seen drops in salmonella outbreaks and only hope to continue on this path with the new, strengthened action plan.

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Sarah Scroggins
Sarah Scroggins

Sarah Scroggins, health enews editor, is manager of social media at Advocate Health Care in Downers Grove. She has more than 9 years of public relations and marketing experience with a Masters degree in Communications with an emphasis in PR. Sarah loves spending time with her husband and her two pups.