(CBS News) — The federal government on Monday announced proposed new regulations that would force food processors to reduce the amount of salmonella bacteria found in some raw chicken products or risk being shut down.
The proposed U.S. Department of Agriculture rules would declare salmonella an adulterant — a contaminant that can cause foodborne illness — in breaded and stuffed raw chicken products. That includes many frozen foods found in grocery stores, including chicken cordon bleu and chicken Kyiv products that appear to be cooked through but are only heat-treated to set the batter or breading.
The agency notified producers of the proposed changes on Friday. USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Sandra Eskin said it marks the beginning of a broader agency effort to curtail illnesses caused by the salmonella bacteria, which sickens 1.3 million Americans each year. It sends more than 26,000 of them to hospitals and causes 420 deaths, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.