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Statement of the American Meat Institute on New CDC Foodborne Illness Outbreak Analysis

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
 

Attribute Statement to American Meat Institute Foundation Chief Scientist Betsy Booren, Ph.D.

Washington, DC - "We appreciate CDC's release of data that attributes illnesses to the foods that caused them. We have encouraged such a release because it will help us improve our meat and poultry safety and public health strategies.
 
It is important to remember, however, that some of the data in this new paper is up to 15 years old.  Because it is aggregated together and does not include trends over time, it does not reflect the many changes and improvements that have occurred since the late 1990s.  In the last decade, the meat and poultry industry has significantly reduced the incidence of pathogens in the products they produce.  In fact, there has not been a recall due to illness associated with Listeria monocytogenes since 2003.
 
In addition, the new paper does not include data from the last five years when significant reductions in both bacteria on meat and poultry products and illnesses associated with those products have been noted by federal officials.
 
Making meat and poultry products as safe as we possibly can is our top priority.  We appreciate that CDC has released this new information.  We hope consumers and media will consider the current that shows dramatic declines in the bacteria on products and in foodborne illnesses since the 1990s that make meat and poultry products safer today than they ever have been."

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AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Together, AMI’s members produce 95 percent of the beef, pork, lamb and veal products and 70 percent of the turkey products inthe United States. The Institute provides legislative, regulatory, public relations, technical, scientific and educational services to the meat and poultry packing and processing industry.

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