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New Zealand Reports No Salmonella in Poultry Meat

by 5m Editor
13 November 2009, at 9:07am

NEW ZEALAND - Not a single sample of poultry meat has been found to be contaminated with Salmonella in the second quarter of this year, bringing the total so far in 2009 to just one positive sample in almost 1,000 taken from slaughterhouses. It is FoodSafe Week from 9 to 15 November.

Salmonella in chickens is measured by the National Microbiological Database (NMD), the same system that measures red meats, reports the Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand (PIANZ).

The NMD is administered by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA). Salmonella samples are taken once per day at the large poultry processing plants and forwarded to NZFSA-approved laboratories for testing. The sample is a whole bird rinse taken at a random time during processing. The sampling and test methods are based on the system used by the USDA FSIS, this method was chosen to ensure that there is an international comparison with published data.

The data demonstrates the very low level of Salmonella found on carcasses in New Zealand. In the mid-1990s, the level was 17 per cent but concerted efforts by the whole industry to control breeding operations and feed mills has proven to be effective.

Surveys of chicken products at the retail level commissioned by the NZFSA have confirmed the very low levels in the table above.

A survey carried out to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter and Salmonella on retail chicken products by PIANZ found that Salmonella was not detected on any carcasses or associated external packaging of the 163 carcasses samples collected in New Zealand.