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Raw breaded stuffed chicken products singled out by USDA

Supermarket News - 5/6/2024

For the first time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has declared salmonella an adulterant in raw breaded stuffed chicken products when it exceeds a specific threshold.

The action is part of FSIS’ broader efforts to reduce salmonella illnesses associated with the raw poultry supply in the U.S. The agency will address salmonella contamination in other raw poultry products later this year.

“[The] USDA is taking significant steps toward keeping American consumers safe from foodborne illness,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This policy change is important because it will allow us to stop the sale of these products when we find levels of Salmonella contamination that could make people sick.”

The specific threshold is 1 CFU per gram or higher.

Raw breaded stuffed chicken products are pre-browned and may appear cooked, but the chicken is raw. Consumers typically cook the products from frozen, which increases the risk of the product not reaching the internal temperature needed to destroy salmonella.

FSIS will carry out verification procedures, including sampling and testing of the raw chicken component of these products prior to stuffing and breading to ensure producers control salmonella in these products.

If the chicken component does not meet the standard set, the product lot will not be permitted to produce the final raw breaded stuffed chicken products.