As promised, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has scheduled a public meeting to discuss its proposed framework that is designed to consider how to control certain Salmonella in poultry.
The virtual meeting is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST time on Nov. 3 and will be available by Zoom or telephone connection. There is no fee to register for the public meeting, but pre-registration is mandatory for participants attending. All attendees must register online by visiting https://www.fsis.usda.gov/ news-events/ events-meetings/ public-meeting-reducing-salmonella-poultry, after which they will receive an email acknowledging their registration. People who wish to speak during the meeting must notify FSIS during registration and must register by Oct. 24. Attendees who do not wish to speak at the meeting may register at any time up to the day of the meeting.
Written comments will be accepted through Nov. 16.
In its summary of the meeting the FSIS writes:
FSIS is hosting a virtual public meeting to discuss a regulatory framework that the agency is considering for a new strategy to control Salmonella in poultry products and more effectively reduce foodborne Salmonella infections linked to these products. The framework under consideration has been shaped by months of information-gathering and discussions with a wide range of stakeholders, researchers, and scientists. FSIS is seeking input from stakeholders on this proposed framework, both at the public meeting and in written comments submitted in response to this Federal Register notice before FSIS moves forward with any proposed changes to the Agency’s Salmonella strategy.
Comments on this notice may be by one of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal — This website provides the ability to type short comments directly into the comment field on this web page or attach a file for lengthier comments. Go to https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions at that site for submitting comments.
Mail — Send to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Mailstop 3758, Washington, DC 20250-3700.
Hand- or courier-delivered submittals — Deliver to 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Jamie L. Whitten Building, Room 350-E, Washington, DC 20250-3700.
All items submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the agency name and docket number FSIS-2022-0029. Comments received in response to this docket will be made available for public inspection and posted without change, including any personal information, to https://www.regulations.gov.
For access to background documents or comments received, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-692-4235 to schedule a time to visit the FSIS Docket Room at 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-3700.
As soon as the meeting transcripts are available, they will be accessible on the FSIS website at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/ news-events/ events-meetings/ public-meeting-reducing-salmonella-poultry.
The Healthy People 2030 target of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department is to reduce Salmonella infections to a national case rate of no more than 11.5 per 100,000 consumers per year. To reach the 2030 target, illnesses from all sources must be reduced by a minimum of 25 percent. The FSIS has adopted the same target and aims to reduce Salmonella infections linked to all FSIS-regulated products by 25 percent. Salmonella infections from poultry have remained stagnant for decades despite work to reduce them, according to the FSIS.
For example, during the five-year period from 2017 to 2021, the number of chicken product samples in which FSIS detected Salmonella decreased by more than 50 percent.However, the estimated rate of human Salmonella infections from all sources has remained consistent over the last two decades, with an estimated 1.35 million infections in the U.S. each year.The most recent report from the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration estimates that over 23 percent of foodborne Salmonella illnesses are attributable to poultry consumption.
To address the problem of Salmonella in poultry and human illnesses caused by it, the FSIS has proposed a regulatory framework that will be used to consider how to achieve reductions in illnesses.
FSIS is also completing a risk profile for pathogenic three Salmonella subtypes in poultry and is collaborating on quantitative risk assessments for Salmonella in chicken and turkey that will address key risk management questions associated with this framework. The proposed framework that is currently under consideration is available on the FSIS website at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/ news-events/ events-meetings/ public-meeting-reducing-salmonella-poultry.
The public meeting set for Nov. 3 will cover the three components of the proposed framework:
1. Requiring that incoming flocks be tested for Salmonella before entering an establishment;
2. Enhancing establishment process control monitoring and FSIS verification; and
3. Implementing an enforceable final product standard.
FSIS will finalize the agenda on or before the meeting date and post it on the FSIS website at: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/ news-events/ events-meetings/ public-meeting-reducing-salmonella-poultry.