AMI demands better performance standards

by Editor
Friday, July 16, 2010

Performance standards should be based on sound science, be achievable and have a significant and quantifiable positive impact on public health, something that has thus far not been accomplished, says AMI.

The American Meat Instituete commented in response to USDA FSIS Docket No. FSIS-2009-0034: New Performance Standards for Salmonella and Campylobacter in Young Chickens and Turkey Slaughter Establishments.

Indeed, publicly available data showed the prevalence of Salmonella on raw meat and poultry products had been significantly reduced since the standards were implemented, but the incidence of salmonellosis in the human population showed no quantifiable improvement during the same time period. The agency’s belief that implementing stricter performance standards will decrease human illnesses is theoretical. The lack of improvement in human illness since the performance standards were fully implemented in 2000 did not support the agency’s theory, AMI’s comments state.

AMI urged FSIS to conduct a comprehensive scientific and technical review of the new performance standards for Salmonella and Campylobacter in young chickens and turkey to determine the impact of the revised standards on public health before they are implemented in federal establishments. Specifically, AMI encouraged the agency to examine why the Salmonella performance standards have not been successful in having a significant and quantifiable improvement of public health.