U.S – The University of Illinois (U of I), Cornell University, and Perdue Farms are collaborating on a project titled “Simulation and Modelling to Rationally Target Salmonella Control Strategies in Processing Plants” to study policy and management approaches to further reduce Salmonella cases linked to raw poultry.

Matthew Stasiewicz, Ph.D., is the project’s principal investigator and an Assistant Professor of applied food safety at the University of Illinois’ College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

Perdue Farms has committed to funding the project in full until January 2024.

By improving lotting and intervention strategies, the collaborative project aims to develop risk assessment models that will enable Perdue and other poultry producers to optimize Salmonella control strategies in the supply chain.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA’s FSIS) may then explore using such tactics to help its efforts to minimize human salmonellosis cases linked to the eating of poultry meat.

Other poultry processors could then implement such tactics. For instance, the FSIS proposed a new regulatory framework in October 2022 to lower Salmonella illnesses linked to chicken.

It would be challenging for academics to provide data of this magnitude under settings relevant to industry, but Perdue is already producing significant data on Salmonella control measures through enhanced live bird management through better harvesting and processing controls.

The use of Perdue’s data will make it possible to apply contemporary analytics and create risk-assessment models in order to identify and rank the most efficient brand-new risk-management solutions.

The initiative comes in the midst of efforts to develop a Salmonella performance standard that places a greater emphasis on preserving public health than merely lowering prevalence.

The industry has decreased Salmonella prevalence by 65% since 2015 when the latest performance requirement for chicken parts went into force.

Furthermore, the FSIS performance standard for Salmonella on chicken parts like wings, breasts, and drumsticks is met by about 95% of large establishment

However, despite lower rates of prevalence, human cases of salmonellosis linked to poultry have not decreased as quickly. This is most likely because the Salmonella strains most likely to cause human disease have not been specifically targeted.

Consequently, it is necessary to think of improved standards and better means to fulfill those standards in order to consistently improve food safety.

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