USDA Sets New Salmonella Standards For Poultry

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Department of Agriculture is setting new standards for the levels of salmonella and another pathogen in young chickens and turkeys as part of an effort to strengthen food safety.

The new standards would hold poultry slaughterhouses more accountable by decreasing the number of samples allowed to test positive for the pathogens.

Salmonella is the most common cause of food poisoning in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Close behind is campylobacter. Both can sicken those who eat raw or undercooked poultry or eggs.

USDA said the new standards could help prevent an estimated 39,000 illnesses due to campylobacter and 26,000 illnesses due to salmonella.

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