Green A, Defibaugh-Chavez S, Douris A, Vetter D, Atkinson R, Kissler B, Khroustalev A, Robertson K, Sharma Y, Becker K, Dessai U, Antoine N, Allen L, Holt K, Gieraltowski L, Wise M, and Schwensohn C
Foodborne Pathogens And Disease [Foodborne Pathog Dis] 2018 Mar; Vol. 15 (3), pp. 153-160. Date of Electronic Publication: 2018 Jan 02.
Animals, Anti-Bacterial Agents pharmacology, Drug Resistance, Bacterial, Food Inspection, Foodborne Diseases microbiology, Humans, Likelihood Functions, Salmonella Food Poisoning microbiology, Salmonella enterica drug effects, Salmonella enterica isolation purification, United States epidemiology, Chickens microbiology, Disease Outbreaks, Foodborne Diseases epidemiology, Salmonella Food Poisoning epidemiology, and Salmonella enterica immunology
On June 28, 2013, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) was notified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of an investigation of a multistate cluster of illnesses of Salmonella enterica serovar Heidelberg. Since case-patients in the cluster reported consumption of a variety of chicken products, FSIS used a simple likelihood-based approach using traceback information to focus on intensified sampling efforts. This article describes the multiphased product sampling approach taken by FSIS when epidemiologic evidence implicated chicken products from multiple establishments operating under one corporation. The objectives of sampling were to (1) assess process control of chicken slaughter and further processing and (2) determine whether outbreak strains were present in products from these implicated establishments. As part of the sample collection process, data collected by FSIS personnel to characterize product included category (whole chicken and type of chicken parts), brand, organic or conventional product, injection with salt solutions or flavorings, and whether product was skinless or skin-on. From the period September 9, 2013, through October 31, 2014, 3164 samples were taken as part of this effort. Salmonella percent positive declined from 19.7% to 5.3% during this timeframe as a result of regulatory and company efforts. The results of intensified sampling for this outbreak investigation informed an FSIS regulatory response and corrective actions taken by the implicated establishments. The company noted that a multihurdle approach to reduce Salmonella in products was taken, including on-farm efforts such as environmental testing, depopulation of affected flocks, disinfection of affected houses, vaccination, and use of various interventions within the establishments over the course of several months.