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Midwest Poultry Processors Would Be Affected By New Salmonella Standards

Lopez-Alt's Extra-crunchy Southern Fried Chicken.
Courtesy of Kenji Lopez-Alt
Lopez-Alt's Extra-crunchy Southern Fried Chicken.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing new regulations that would force food processors to reduce the amount of salmonella bacteria found in some raw chicken products or risk shutdowns. The proposed USDA rules announced Monday would declare salmonella an adulterant — a contaminant that can cause food-borne illness — in breaded and stuffed raw chicken products. That includes many frozen foods found in grocery stores that appear to be cooked through but are only heat-treated to set the batter or breading. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the salmonella bacteria sickens 1.3 million Americans each year, puts 26,000 in hospitals and causes 420 deaths.