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FSIS Issues Notice to Inspectors Regarding Campylobacter Test Results

Monday, February 18, 2019

(North American Meat Institute)

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a notice instructing inspection program personnel (IPP) to take no action, unless otherwise directed, in response to the agency’s Campylobacter test results. FSIS is not currently assessing whether raw poultry plants are meeting Campylobacter performance standards because, in August 2018, FSIS laboratories began using the enrichment method and suspended use of the direct plating method to test for Campylobacter in raw poultry products. FSIS will propose and request comments on new standards in a Federal Register notice before finalizing and implementing them.

In the meantime, FSIS will continue to share individual Campylobacter sampling results with IPP and plants through the Public Health Information System and a quarterly letter. The agency will temporarily discontinue posting aggregate category results on its website until sufficient data are generated with the new method. Because FSIS is not currently assessing the Campylobacter performance standards, the agency will not designate categories for establishments based on Campylobacter test results, and IPP will not receive Category 2 or 3 alerts.

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