What is the Status of the CSPI Petition to USDA/FSIS on Salmonella as an Adulterant in Ground Beef and Ground Poultry?

Ocotober 17th, 2013 – Expert Guest Entry by William (Bill) Marler, Originally Posted on MarlerBlog on 10/13/2013 Two years ago, the Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a Citizen Petition urging the USDA/FSIS to issue an interpretative rule, similar to what the agency had already done for E. coli O157:H7 in 1994 and other Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in 2011, declaring specific strains of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella to be adulterants.  Download Petition. All four Salmonella strains covered by the petition – Salmonella Heidelberg, Salmonella Newport, Salmonella Hadar, and Salmonella Typhimurium – had been linked to foodborne illness outbreaks.  Products regulated by the USDA that have been implicated in outbreaks from these four strains include chicken, ground beef, ground turkey, and pork.  However, the Petition sought to deem these four strains of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella to be adulterants in ground beef and ground poultry. In 2013 the undersigned organizations wrote USDA/FSIS to support the petition and urged USDA/FSIS to act without delay to protect consumers from the continuing threat in the meat supply. Association for Politics and the Life Sciences, Center for Food Safety, Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumer Federation of America Food and Water Watch, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Government Accountability Project, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future Keep Antibiotics Working, National Consumers League, National Research Center for Women & Families, Organic Consumers Association, STOP Foodborne Illness and United States Public Interest Research Group Well, the Petition – even if granted – would not have impacted the recent Foster Farms outbreak – but the Petition would be a start.  

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