Last month Washington Post’s Kimberly Kindy’s story: “USDA reviews whether bacteria-killing chemicals are masking salmonella,” had USDA/FSIS officials scrambling. Kindy reported:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reviewing research showing that new bacteria-killing chemicals used in chicken slaughterhouses may be masking the presence of salmonella and other pathogens that remain on the birds that consumers buy, according to records and interviews.
Academic researchers agree that the chemicals could be overwhelming an antiquated testing process. Several of the scientists have been enlisted by the USDA’s food safety experts to help resolve the matter.
The issue came to the department’s attention this spring after chemical companies pointed to academic research that shows there could be a problem and told the USDA that further study was needed.
Tonight Kindy reports on what appears to be another USDA/FSIS misstep: “New USDA poultry inspection procedures are based on bad data, government report says.” KIndy reports:
The USDA has used incomplete and antiquated data in support of its plan to extend new poultry inspection procedures to plants across the country, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office scheduled for public release on Wednesday.
As a result, there are “questions about the validity” of the USDA’s conclusions that the procedures, now used by a limited number of poultry plants under a pilot program, are more effective than the traditional approach at reducing pathogens such as salmonella, the GAO found.