Roadmap to Reducing Salmonella: Driving Change through Science-Based Policy published by the USDA
On Friday, September 18, 2020, The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Food Safety (OFS) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) released theRoadmap to Reducing Salmonella: Driving Change through Science-Based Policy. Salmonella bacteria, one of the leading causes of foodborne illness in the United States, today, is most commonly spread through food, such as meat, eggs, and poultry. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that Salmonella alone is responsible for an estimated 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths each year in the US.
Mindy Brashears, Under Secretary for Food Safety, explains that the Roadmap to Reducing Salmonella, “outlines FSIS programs and policies that are science-based, datadriven, and promote innovation to reduce Salmonella”. The pamphlet explains in detail, the modernization of inspection systems, outreach and communication with the food safety community, data transparency and analytics, current state of research and innovation, and an aggressive plan looking forward to target Salmonella and other foodborne illness, through science-based methods.
In correspondence to the release of the Roadmap to Reducing Salmonella, the OFS and FSIS will discuss these issues at a public virtual meeting, today, September 22, 2020, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. Registration is free and open to the public, however, it is necessary, in order to be admitted to the meeting. Also speaking at the meeting will be the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in an effort to promote continued collaboration amongst health agencies concerning the issue of foodborne illness. Further information regarding the meeting can be found here.
While the spread of Salmonella can be largely reduced through ‘Science-Based Policy’ in large operations such as farms and factories, the most effective way for consumers to do their part is practice proper hygiene and cooking standards at home. According to Ron Simon and Associates, the nation’s leading law firm for foodborne illness litigation;
“more than 95% of Salmonella infections are transmitted by the consumption of foods contaminated with the bacteria.”
The cleaning of hands and surfaces, the separation of meats from other raw-eaten foods, thorough cooking, and the proper chilling of food, can help prevent Salmonella, and other foodborne illnesses, from having a chance to multiply and cause infection.