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USDA Finalizes Rule Calling Salmonella an Adulterant in Chicken Kievs

April 26, 2024
Long-discussed rule for raw breaded stuffed chicken products will go into effect mid-2025.

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today (April 26) announced its final determination to declare salmonella an adulterant in raw breaded stuffed chicken products, beginning in 2025.

The final determination is no different than the two years of preliminary statements the Agriculture Dept. made on the subject. The food products will be considered adulterated when they exceed a threshold of one colony forming unit per gram or higher for salmonella contamination.

To those who understand the nuance, declaring salmonella an adulterant gives the agency the power to prohibit contaminated products from entering the market and to remove them if necessary, powers the agency did not have in the past.

And while this first declaration only involves breaded and stuffed raw chicken entrees (e.g., chicken Kiev), it’s seen as the first step for more regulation to remove all chicken products that have tested positive, even when they have a very low level of contamination.

“This final determination is part of FSIS’ broader efforts to reduce salmonella illnesses associated with the raw poultry supply in the United States,” the agency stated. “FSIS intends to address salmonella contamination in other raw poultry products later this year.”

“This final determination marks the first time that salmonella is being declared an adulterant in a class of raw poultry products,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This policy change is important because it will allow us to stop the sale of these products when we find levels of salmonella contamination that could make people sick.”

FSIS will carry out verification procedures, including sampling and testing of the raw incoming chicken component of these products prior to stuffing and breading, to ensure producing establishments control the bacterium in these products. If the chicken component in these products does not meet this standard, the product lot represented by the sampled component would not be permitted to be used to produce the final raw breaded stuffed chicken products.

The rule will be effective 12 months after its publication in the Federal Register, which is expected next week.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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