We just filed a petition along with a couple other groups requesting that Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), ban dangerous salmonella strains from meat. Right now, the meat and poultry industry is legally able to sell products that are knowingly contaminated with salmonella bacteria. The petition demands expedited action to issue a new interpretive rule that declares Salmonella bacteria as “adulterants” to increase monitoring efforts to better ensure the safety of the general public.
Salmonellosis is responsible for approximately 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths each year in the U.S. Foodborne salmonellosis triggers approximately 130 outbreaks in the United States each year. Despite significant efforts to prevent Salmonella infections, rates of the foodborne disease are not declining. In fact, the number of infections has substantially grown since 2015.
In response, Senior Government Affairs Representative Food & Water Action Tony Corbo said:
“It’s hard to believe but our ask is simple: we just want to make sure that when someone buys ‘USDA certified’ beef or chicken, they will not contract salmonella. USDA’s FSIS is responsible for protecting public health and the only reason to ignore salmonella contaminated products is to please the sleazy, profiteering meat industry. Right now, the USDA stamp means next to nothing. This new rule would protect both public health, which should be FSIS’s bottom line.”
Full petition here.