The National Chicken Council released today the following statement on the report published by the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida:
“The chicken industry takes food safety very seriously. Over the years, the presence of potentially pathogenic microorganisms on raw chicken has been greatly reduced. Companies continue to invest heavily in improvements that lead to even safer raw products.
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture has had microbiological standards in effect since 1998. According to USDA sampling, the microbiological profile of fresh chicken meat is the best that it has ever been. USDA recently added a standard for Campylobacter to the existing standard for Salmonella, and most processing plants are already meeting both standards. The Florida project acknowledges a lack of outbreak data on Campylobacter and may not have captured improvements made by the industry in processing raw chickens.
“Consumers should continue to follow the simple, common-sense food safety precautions printed on every package of raw meat and poultry sold in the United States, especially since the heat of normal cooking kills microorganisms such as Salmonella and Campylobacter.”
The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce and process chickens. Member companies of NCC account for more than 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.