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Publisher's Platform: Let's talk Turkey about Salmonella being an Adulterant

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Remember this as you prepare Thanksgiving for your family and as you read this post – it is Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Mission Statement:
Protecting the public's health by ensuring the safety of meat, poultry, and processed egg products.

USDA/FSIS has the authority to deem Salmonella and other pathogens adulterants – they just need to use it.

In a few days millions of Americans will bring a food product (a turkey) into their homes that is likely teeming with Salmonella that the manufacturer – by law and with the USDA stamp of approval – knowingly can sell knowing that it may well be tainted with a pathogen that sickens over 1,000,000 yearly. This is because USDA/FSIS does not consider Salmonella an adulterant.

Personally, as I said to the Los Angeles Times some time ago, "I think that anything that can poison or kill a person should be listed as an adulterant [in food]."

Ignoring Salmonella in meat makes little, if any, sense.

Even after the Court's twisted opinion in Supreme Beef v. USDA, where it found Salmonella "not an adulterant per se, meaning its presence does not require the USDA to refuse to stamp such meat 'inspected and passed', " our government's failure to confront the reality of Salmonella, especially antibiotic-resistant Salmonella, is inexcusable.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court in Kriefall v Excel called it as it saw it – at least with respect to E. coli – but the analysis is spot on for Salmonella as well:

The E. coli strain that killed Brianna and made the others sick is a "deleterious substance which may render [meat] injurious to health." There is no dispute about this. Thus, under the first part of 21 U.S.C. § 601(m)(1), meat that either "bears or contains" E. coli O157:H7 (the "deleterious substance") is "adulterated." That E. coli O157:H7 contamination can be rendered non-"injurious to health" by cooking thoroughly, as discussed below, does not negate this; Congress used the phrase "may render," not "in every circumstance renders." Moreover, if the E. coli bacteria is not considered to be "an added substance," because it comes from some of the animals themselves and is not…
Bill Marler, November, Powered By
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