Advancing Meat and Poultry Safety

Advancing Meat and Poultry Safety

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) oversees the safety of meat and poultry products. Each year, an estimated 2 million foodborne illnesses are associated with consumption of meat or poultry, with bacteria and viruses causing many of these infections. The agency’s current approach to food safety is based on laws enacted in 1906 and 1957 and does not adequately protect Americans from many pathogens of greatest concern today.

The resources collected here describe strengths and weaknesses in the FSIS meat and poultry safety program and identify ways to update food safety systems to make the agency better able to address today’s risks.

Farm to Fork
Farm to Fork
Report

Food Safety From Farm to Fork

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Report

Contaminated meat and poultry products are responsible for an estimated 2 million illnesses in the United States each year, and amount to more than 40 percent of all bacterial foodborne diseases. The annual cost of illnesses—for instance, direct medical costs, lost income, and productivity—attributable to consumption of these foods has been estimated at about $2.5 billion for poultry, $1.9 billion for pork, and $1.4 billion for beef.

Department of Agriculture
Department of Agriculture
Article

Safer Meat and Poultry Require Updated Slaughter Inspection Practices

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Article

To improve protection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture should better align its inspections with the risks posed to human health, a determination that should be made based on a range of relevant factors, including the particular animals slaughtered, products produced, and food facilities involved.

Additional Resources