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   GAO Asks USDA To Further Cut Pathogens In Meat, Poultry
by CIDRAP - Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy
Posted: Monday, April 23, 2018 at 3:55PM EDT

Over the past several years the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has taken important steps to establish pathogen standards for some meat and poultry, but some commonly consumed products such as turkey breasts and pork chops don't have standards, and it's not clear how the agency decides which products to consider for new standards, a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said this week.

The request for the GAO's investigation into the pathogen standards came from members of a Senate committee. Though the US food supply is considered safe, the GAO cited a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that foodborne pathogens cause about 9 million illnesses each year, 2 million of them from Salmonella and Campylobacter.

Standards for some products, not others

In a podcast that accompanied the release of the 49-page report, posted on Apr 18, Steve Morris, the GAO's director of the natural resources and environment, said the USDA pathogen standards are used to reduce contamination in food before the products are sold.

To read the rest of the story, please go to: CIDRAP 

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