Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new performance standards to reduceSalmonellaandCampylobacterin young chickens (broilers) and turkeys, fulfilling another key recommendation of the President's Food Safety Working Group. USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service also released a compliance guide to help the poultry industry addressSalmonellaandCampylobacterand a compliance guide on known practices for pre-harvest management to reduceE. coliO157:H7 contamination in cattle.

"There is no more important mission at USDA than ensuring the safety of our food, and we are working every day as part of the President's Food Safety Working Group to lower the danger of foodborne illness," said Vilsack. "The new standards announced today mark an important step in our efforts to protect consumers by further reducing the incidence of Salmonella and opening a new front in the fight against Campylobacter."

After two years under the new standards, FSIS estimates that 39,000 illnesses will be avoided each year under the new Campylobacter standards, and 26,000 fewer illnesses each year under the revised Salmonella standards.

The standards announced are the first-ever standards for Campylobacter, and mark the first revision to the Salmonella standards for chicken since 1996 and for turkeys since the first standards were set in 2005. The performance standards set a level in percentage of samples testing positive for a given pathogen an establishment must achieve and play a key role in reducing the prevalence of foodborne pathogens and preventing harm to consumers. The President's Food Safety Working Group has set a goal of having 90 percent of all poultry establishments meeting the revised Salmonella standard by the end of 2010.

By revising current performance standards and setting new ones, FSIS is encouraging establishments to make continued improvement in the occurrence and level of pathogens in the products they produce. FSIS developed the stricter performance standards using recently completed studies that measure the baseline prevalence of Salmonella and Campylobacter in young chicken (broiler) and turkey carcasses nationwide.

FSIS has developed the third edition of a compliance guide for poultry slaughter which includes recommendations for controlling Salmonella and Campylobacter, as well as a compliance guide on known practices for pre-harvest management to reduce E. coli O157:H7 contamination in cattle. Both documents are priorities for the President's Food Safety Working Group and will be posted on FSIS's website at The compliance guide on known practices for pre-harvest management to reduce E. coli contamination in cattle will focus on the prevention of E. coli O157:H7 through reduced fecal shedding on the farm and during live animal holding before slaughter. The compliance guide for industry for poultry slaughter includes additional pre-harvest recommendations for controlling Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry.

FSIS is seeking comment on the performance standards and two compliance guides announced in the Federal Register Notice. FSIS expects to begin using the standards after analyzing the comments and, if necessary, making any adjustments.

"Preventing foodborne illness is the core mission of the Food Safety and Inspection Service and today's announcement will help us reduce the incidence of Salmonella and Campylobacter," said Jerold Mande, Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety. "We welcome comments on today's announcement."

Comments regarding the compliance guides document must be received within the 60 day comment period through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at, or by mail to: Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Room 2-2127, George Washington Carver Center, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Mailstop 5474, Beltsville, MD 20705-5474. All submissions received through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or by mail must reference the Food Safety and Inspection Service and include the docket number "FSIS-2009-0034."

The National Chicken Council released a statement on the new standards, saying, “Food safety is the highest concern of the broiler chicken industry, and the industry will continue to work to improve the microbiological profile of raw chicken. The new Salmonella and Campylobacter performance standards are generally consistent with industry performance in recent years. However, it should be noted that the suggestion that human illness is directly linked to the microbiological profile of raw chicken is not very well supported by the data, since the prevalence of human disease from Salmonella has been going up in recent years while the presence of Salmonella on raw chickens has been going down.

“As always, industry will work hard to fulfill the expectations of the government, its customers, and most of all, of consumers in the United States and around the world for safe and wholesome chicken.

“These standards are for raw chicken. Cooking destroys these organisms. Safe handling and cooking instructions are printed on every package of raw poultry and meat sold in the United States. Additional information is available from sources such as the Partnership for Food Safety Education at”

Source: FSIS, NCC

AMI, FMI, produce shows co-locating in Dallas in 2012

The American Meat Institute (AMI), the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the United Fresh Produce Association (UFPA) announced the co-location of their premier trade shows – the FMI Exhibit and Education Event, the AMI International Meat Poultry and Seafood Convention and Exposition, and United Fresh – beginning in 2012 at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas.

The AMI Expo will be held April 30-May 3, 2012, and the FMI Exhibit and Education Event and United Fresh will be held May 1-3, 2012.

The three shows will offer their own exhibit halls, as well as unique education programming for their own attendees. The partners will explore potential joint programming and networking events.

This marks a reunion between the FMI Show and United Fresh, but it is the first co-location of either group with the AMI Expo. This co-location creates an event that connects the meat processing, fruit and vegetable and retail industries to create synergy for all exhibitors and attendees.

“We are thrilled to launch an event that will encompass all aspects of the industry in one location to provide a continuation of our commitment to bring trading partners together, foster collaboration and build a strong industry community,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, president and chief executive officer, FMI. “This co-location provides the opportunity to foster leadership education opportunities that span across the industry and bring more depth and increased value to retailers from the front-lines to company headquarters.”

AMI President and CEO Patrick Boyle welcomed the partnership opportunity. “Now, in addition to state-of-the art technology and cutting-edge education, AMI packer processors have a third compelling reason to attend the AMI Convention and Exposition — thousands of their retail customers in one place,” Boyle said. “Attendees will benefit from a wide array of joint educational programming.  Exhibitors at all three shows will take advantage of the expanded marketing opportunity and additional traffic on the show floor.”

“We’re pleased to once again co-locate the United Fresh 2012 Fresh Marketplace and FreshTech expos with FMI based on the very positive experience of attendees at both of our shows in the past,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “With AMI, we’ll now have an even stronger platform for increasing the attendee value proposition for all three events.”

The FMI Education and Exhibit Event is the largest and most comprehensive food industry conference and exposition in North America, attracting approximately 450 exhibitors and more than 10,000 attendees from close to 100 countries representing the retail industry, including supermarket retailers, independent operators, wholesalers, mass merchants, distributors and suppliers. The AMI Expo attracts more than 450 exhibitors and 10,000 attendees from 100 countries at all levels of the meat and poultry industry, including executives, plant managers, purchasing agents, engineers, researchers and operations managers. The United Fresh show will attract 300 exhibitors and 5,000 individual attendees.

Source: AMI

Higher meat prices lead to Tyson Q2 profit

Tyson Foods Inc. on Monday swung to a fiscal second-quarter profit from last year's same period, benefiting from industry-wide supply cuts that boosted prices for its beef, pork and chicken products. Net income was $159 million, or 42 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $119 million, or 32 cents a share. Sales rose 9.6% to $6.9 billion, reports MarketWatch.

During the recent quarter, Tyson said selling prices and profit spreads widened. Prices for company pork jumped 15%, chicken rose 10.2%, and beef gained 8.4% over the year ago period. Tyson said the operating margin for its chicken unit rose to 4.6% from a decline of 1.9% in the prior year period. The margin for its beef unit rose to 4.6% from 1.2% and the margin for its pork division rose to 7.4% from 3.4%.

"While we did predict tightening domestic availability of protein would lead to stronger fundamentals, it happened sooner than expected," Tyson CEO Donnie Smith said in a statement. "We think we'll do even better the second half of the fiscal year as our operational performance continues to improve."

Source: MarketWatch

FSIS issues public health warning on Canadian RTE products

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service is issuing a public health alert for various ready-to-eat deli meat products because they may be contaminated withListeria monocytogenes.

FSIS was notified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that various ready-to-eat deli meat products subject to recall in Canada may have been exported to the United States. Recently, a problem was discovered through FSIS microbiological testing of imported product from Canadian Establishment 665, which resulted in a positive sample for Listeria monocytogenes and two FSIS recalls dated May 4 and 5, 2010. FSIS and Canada have received no reports of illnesses as result of consumption of products subject to this alert.

Implicated products were produced by Zadi Foods Ltd., CFIA Establishment 665, located in Brampton, Ontario, and may have been distributed to retail locations nationwide. The products would have been sold to consumers at deli counters, and the original brand may not have been transferred at the deli counters to consumer packages. The products subject to the recall include varieties of “Casa Italia” and “Emma” brands of prosciutto.

Source: FSIS