Gourmet Specialty Foods, North Andover, Mass.
P34195 • Medium plant • Data from March 2021 to March 2022
Your likelihood of getting sick depends on many factors, including: how the poultry is cooked and handled; your immune system; and the quantity and types of salmonella present. “High-risk” salmonella strains are more likely to cause illness than “low-risk” types. According to the CDC, if you avoid cross-contamination and cook the poultry to 165°F, the meat should be safe to eat even if it had high-risk salmonella. Learn more about safe handling and cooking techniques from the CDC.
This plant failed the USDA standard for chicken parts because salmonella was found in more than 15.4% of samples. In total, 25.0% of the chicken parts samples had salmonella of any type.
Plants that fail this standard are required to undergo additional USDA testing and may face additional scrutiny. But the USDA does not have the authority to shut down facilities even when their salmonella rates repeatedly exceed the agency’s thresholds.
The USDA tested 16 chicken parts samples from this plant over the past year. A quarter of the samples had a strain of salmonella resistant to antibiotics commonly used to treat infections. The plant processed an estimated 100,000 to 1 million pounds of meat and poultry in total each month.
There are more than 2,500 types of salmonella, but fewer than 100 account for most human infections. Below are the types of salmonella found in this plant’s chicken parts. The USDA does not measure the quantity of salmonella in each poultry sample, only whether or not salmonella is present.