U.S – The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has extended the comment period on the proposed determination titled Salmonella in Not-Ready-To-Eat Breaded Stuffed Chicken Products.

This is in response to requests from industry associations for more time to assess and assemble comments on the proposal’s impact.

Published on April 28, 2023, the deadline for comments was originally June 27, 2023, but has been extended for an additional 30 days until July 27, 2023.

The FSIS published a proposed determination to declare Salmonella an adulterant in breaded stuffed raw chicken products when they exceed a very low threshold of Salmonella infection, as it was stated in the April 25, 2023, Constituent Update.

Based on this proposal, the FSIS would deem as adulterated any breaded stuffed raw chicken products that contain a component of chicken that tested positive for Salmonella at 1 colony forming unit (CFU) per gram prior to stuffing and breading.

Additionally, to ensure that manufacturing facilities manage Salmonella in these products, FSIS is proposing to carry out verification measures, such as sampling and testing of the chicken component of breaded stuffed raw chicken items prior to stuffing and breading.

The product lot represented by the sampled component would not be allowed to be used to create the final breaded stuffed raw chicken items if the chicken component in these products does not match this criterion.

The sampling lot’s chicken component would need to be used for something other than breaded stuffed raw chicken products.

Although products with breaded and stuffed raw chicken are pre-browned and may look cooked, the chicken is actually raw.

These items contain elements like raw vegetables, butter, cheese, or meat like ham. Consumers frequently cook the products in a frozen state, which raises the possibility that they won’t reach the interior temperature required to kill salmonella.

Additionally, because these products contain numerous ingredients that may cook at various rates, it may be challenging for a consumer to determine an accurate internal temperature of these products.

These products’ labels have undergone substantial revisions throughout time in order to effectively communicate to consumers that they are raw foods and how to prepare them safely. However, these products continue to be linked to Salmonella disease outbreaks.

Furthermore, consumer research by the FSIS and data from outbreaks indicate that some people might not be aware that these products contain raw chicken because the exterior may look browned and cooked, leading them to believe that the product is safe to eat as is or that the product does not need to be cooked to a safe internal temperature.

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