News

USDA: Our Salmonella Detection System May be Flawed

A new study has found that “consumers could be exposed to salmonella-contaminated chicken at much higher rates” than otherwise suggested.

A new study has revealed that the US Department of Agriculture’s system for safeguarding against salmonella in chicken might be seriously flawed. Led by the department’s own scientists, the study identified a possibility of false-negatives in salmonella screenings carried out on carcasses. Current protocols call for carcasses to be sprayed with antimicrobial chemicals to ward off pathogens and dunked into another antimicrobial chemical solution before randomly selected carcasses are placed into a bag of liquid that leaches lingering pathogens. The liquid is lab-analyzed and, pending the absence of a certain amount of pathogens, serves to signify that a slaughterhouse’s chicken supply is safe for human consumption. The new study by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, however, suggests that the myriad antimicrobial solutions carcasses are showered and bathed with aren’t adequately rinsed away, and trace amounts end up in testing bags where they continue to kill bacteria while testing awaits, leading to much lower final numbers than would exist on the production line. According to Mother Jones, while incidences of positive test results for salmonella on chicken carcasses are decreasing (3.9 percent in 2013 versus 7.2 percent in 2009), actual cases of salmonella infections in the past 15 years remain strong, exemplified by another USDA study that tested chicken samples from the end of the production line (butchered into pieces as opposed to the entire carcass) that found a positive rate for salmonella of 26 percent—six times more than the testing of carcasses. “[This] means consumers could be being exposed to salmonella-contaminated chicken at much higher rates than the [USDA's] carcass numbers suggest,” author Tom Philpott said.

More News

100,000-Square-Foot Vegan Block Party Hits LA

100,000-Square-Foot Vegan Block Party Hits LA
Read More »

Luxe Shop Debuts Vegan Avocado-Shaped Ice Cream

London's luxury gelato stand Snowflake sells vegan ice cream made from, and shaped like, an avocado, complete with an edible pit.
Read More »

IKEA Promotes Plant-Based Eating for Earth Day

The furniture chain sent a newsletter in time for Earth Day with three plant-based recipes it says are good for your body and the planet.
Read More »

'50s Style Vegan Diner Opens in Michigan

Former Detroit-area food truck Shimmy Shack's new retro diner will serve Coney dogs, burgers, and shakes, and host birthday parties, gift-basket making events, and vegan vintage clothing pop-ups.
Read More »

Vegan Chicken Nugget Startup Raises $1 Million

Seattle Food Tech plans to debut its plant-based chicken nugget replicas at school cafeterias by the end of 2018.
Read More »

This Week on VegNews TV: The secret to these delightful sweet treats is white beans! Aylin Erman shows you how to make these simple blondies.

More Videos »