retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times reports that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing new poultry standards that would recommend that "the percentage of chicken parts found to contain salmonella cannot exceed 15.4%, down from the current sampled average of 24%. Salmonella in ground chicken would be limited to 25%, down from an average of 49%. Ground turkey would be limited to 13.5%, down from an average of about 20%."

The USDA reportedly believes that these new standards could prevent as many as 50,000 salmonella cases a year.

According to the story, "The proposed standards come at a time when the poultry industry and federal inspectors have been under growing pressure to take a harder stance on salmonella contamination. Hundreds of people were sickened nationwide starting in 2013 by an outbreak linked to Foster Farms chicken processed in California ... The proposal marks the first time federal inspectors have issued standards for poultry parts, which represent the majority of the poultry products available to U.S. consumers."

A 60 day public comment period has commenced, and the new standards are expected to take effect later this year.
KC's View:
I'd get all excited about this, except that the story also says that the standards will be entirely voluntary. Though, in all fairness, USDA also says that failure to live up to them "invites more scrutiny by inspectors and potentially less business."