Regulators are taking aim at foodborne illnesses caused by salmonella. The Department of Agriculture has been able to cut the amount of salmonella found on whole chickens. Now it’s putting in place stricter limits on the amount of bacteria it will allow on cut-up chicken parts and on ground chicken and turkey.
“I think it makes the industry look at things in a different way and say we’ve made progress in one aspect of the production and processing, now we need to make progress in some of these other areas,” says James Dickson, who studies food safety at Iowa State University.
The new rules don’t target specific strains of salmonella known to cause a large share of problems. The bacteria is estimated to cause about a million cases of illness in the U.S. each year.
Jeremy Bernfeld is a reporter and editor for Harvest Public Media, a reporting collaboration of stations across the Midwest and Plains states.