Risk Assessment Comparing Alternative Approaches to Regulating Salmonella in Poultry by Public Health Impact Factors

A 1-year and 3 month project funded by US poultry:

The hypotheses of this project are:

  • Most illnesses from Salmonella in poultry are due to consumption of products with relatively high levels of contamination, e.g., > 1 CFU/g, of high-risk serotypes, e.g., Typhimurium.
  • Interventions based on identifying and controlling higher levels of contamination and higher-risk serotypes will result in more targeted effects than prevalence-based interventions, creating
    • Greater protection of public health (fewer predicted illnesses)
    • Greater benefit-cost ratios (less product rework, fewer recalls)

The project will test these hypotheses with the following objectives:

  • Objective 1: Build a farm-to-fork quantitative microbial risk assessment of Salmonella subtypes in poultry products incorporating different production strategies which will allow for assessment of the public heath impact of different interventions, performance standards, and regulations
  • Objective 2: Use the risk assessment to assess the likely impact on foodborne disease of interventions, performance standards, and regulations targeting Salmonella levels and/or specific strains.

Literature Review Investigating Intersections between US Foodservice Food Recovery and Safety


Food waste is increasingly scrutinized due to the projected need to feed nine billion people in 2050. Food waste squanders many natural resources and occurs at all stages of the food supply chain, but economic and environmental costs are highest at later stages due to value and resource addition throughout the supply chain. Food recovery is the practice of preventing surplus food from being landfill disposed. It provides new opportunities to utilize food otherwise wasted, such as providing it to food insecure populations. Previous research suggests that consumer willingness to waste is higher if there is a perceived food safety risk. Yet, segments of the population act in contrast to conservative food safety risk management advice when food is free or extremely discounted. Therefore, food recovery and food safety may be competing priorities. This narrative review identifies the technical, regulatory, and social context relationships between food recovery and food safety, with a focus on US foodservice settings. The review identifies the additional steps in the foodservice process that stem from food recovery – increased potential for cross-contamination and hazard amplification due to temperature abuse – as well as the potential risk factors, transmission routes, and major hazards involved. This hazard identification step, the initial step in formal risk assessment, could inform strategies to best manage food safety hazards in recovery in foodservice settings. More research is needed to address the insufficient data and unclear regulatory guidelines that are barriers to implementing innovative food recovery practices in US foodservice settings.



Twenty-two years of U.S. meat and poultry product recalls: Implications for food safety and food waste


The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service maintains a recall case archive of meat and poultry product recalls from 1994 to the present. In this study, we collected all recall records from 1994 to 2015 and extracted the recall date, meat or poultry species implicated, reason for recall, recall class, and pounds of product recalled and recovered. Of a total of 1,515 records analyzed, the top three reasons for recall were contamination with Listeria, undeclared allergens, and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli. Class I recalls (due to a hazard with a reasonable probability of causing adverse health consequences or death) represented 71% (1,075 of 1,515) of the total recalls. The amounts of product recalled and recovered per event were approximately lognormally distributed. The mean amount of product recalled and recovered was 6,800 and 1,000 lb (3,087 and 454 kg), respectively (standard deviation, 1.23 and 1.56 log lb, respectively). The total amount of product recalled in the 22-year evaluation period was 690 million lb (313 million kg), and the largest single recall involved 140 million lb (64 million kg) (21% of the total). In every data category subset, the largest recall represented .10% of the total product recalled in the set. The amount of product recovered was known for only 944 recalls. In 12% of those recalls (110 of 944), no product was recovered. In the remaining recalls, the median recovery was 29% of the product. The number of recalls per year was 24 to 150. Recall counts and amounts of product recalled over the 22-year evaluation period did not regularly increase by year, in contrast to the regular increase in U.S. meat and poultry production over the same time period. Overall, these data suggest that (i) meat and poultry recalls were heavily skewed toward class I recalls, suggesting recalls were focused on improving food safety, (ii) numbers of products and amounts of each product recalled were highly variable but did not increase over time, and (iii) the direct contribution of recalls to the food waste stream was associated with the largest recalls.