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Old 05-06-2007, 02:16 AM   #1
George Cherry
 
Default Salmonella Enteritidis


Salmonella on the Rise in Chicken Meat
By LIBBY QUAID, AP Food and Farm Writer
2 hours ago

WASHINGTON - A type of salmonella found in eggs is turning up more often in
chicken meat and needs to be reduced, according to the Agriculture
Department.

From 2000 through 2005, there was a fourfold increase in positive test
results for salmonella enteritidis on chicken carcasses.

"It still continues to rise, even though the overall incidence of salmonella
in general has fallen," said Richard Raymond, the Agriculture Department
undersecretary for food safety. "It's one that we still don't have all the
scientific evidence we need to know how best to attack it."

Salmonella sickens at least 40,000 people and kills about 600 every year in
the United States.

Many different salmonella bacteria make people sick, but salmonella
enteritidis is one of the most common. It causes fever, stomach cramps and
diarrhea, and in vulnerable people, infection can turn deadly by spreading
beyond the intestine to the bloodstream.

It used to be that eggs got contaminated with salmonella on the outside,
from contact with fecal bacteria. But in recent years, the salmonella
enteritidis strain has been found inside intact, disinfected, grade A eggs.
This type of germ contaminates eggs inside a hen's ovaries, before shells
are even formed.

Now the germ is turning up in broiler chickens, the kind used for meat,
according to research by the Agriculture Department published in the
December issue of the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal of the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention.

The research found:

_Positive tests for salmonella enteritidis increased fourfold from 2000
through 2005.

_The proportion of plants with positive tests for salmonella enteritidis
increased threefold during that time.

_The number of states with positive tests for salmonella enteritidis rose
from 14 to 24.

The research was done before the Agriculture Department started a new
program to reduce positive tests for salmonella.

Since then, the incidence of salmonella has fallen from 18 percent in 2005
to 10 percent today, Raymond said.

"Even though that particular bug is going up, the overall incidence of
food-borne illness from salmonella is declining, and the amount of
salmonella positives have shown a dramatic drop," Raymond said.

Cooking poultry to 165 degrees will kill the salmonella germ. The government
also strongly recommends that people use food thermometers and follow basic
rules for kitchen safety: wash hands often, keep raw poultry and meat
separate from cooked food, and refrigerate or freeze food right away.

However, a recent CDC study on food poisoning from salmonella noted that the
risk of illness from salmonella enteritidis increased the less people ate at
home.

"This measure may, in fact, be considered to be a proxy for eating a larger
number of commercially prepared meals," the CDC found.

That study said that while overall infections from salmonella were lower
than in the mid-1990s, infections from salmonella enteritidis were 25
percent higher.

While salmonella is commonly found in poultry, it is found in many other
products, from pork and beef to raw fruits and vegetables and dairy
products.

___

On the Net:

Agriculture Department research:

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol12n...?s_cideid06_06 53_e cit

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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