Food Safety Originates on the Farm and Never Stops
Producing safe, nutritious, and great-tasting products people love is the foundation of our century-old family business. Our culture of food safety focuses on continuous improvement; investment in cutting-edge testing and traceability technologies; partnership with leading food safety experts; and leadership in animal health. Perdue’s multi-hurdle food safety program begins with healthy animals and includes our all-vegetarian diet free of animal by-products. It continues through processing, packaging, and distribution, and includes consumer education and awareness. We put an emphasis on early interventions and never let up on our efforts. We back those efforts with state-of-the-art in-house microbiology labs and test products for safety at 20 points from farm to fork.
Cooking safely at home
For consumers, the most important tool any time they are dealing with raw poultry is the proper handling, and cooking to appropriate temperatures. This remains an extremely effective preventive measure to reduce risk because germs like salmonella cannot withstand an internal cooking temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Perdue recently launched a series of short videos to help home cooks up their game when it comes to safe selection, handling and cooking of raw poultry. Click here to watch
Food safety starts on the farm
Animal health and food safety are inextricably linked. Perdue’s approach to food safety begins at the farm, with the focus being what the farmer can do to prevent and control pathogens, including strict biosecurity enforcement, litter condition and moisture management, testing for clean water and bacterial contamination, and helping with feed withdrawal prior to transporting the animals, which helps control any opportunity for contamination during processing.
Additionally, Perdue Farms is a leader in embracing Process Verified Programs and publicly supports expanding the National Poultry Improvement Program (NPIP). Perdue Farms is working with NPIP partners to share best practices and better understand how preharvest measures can enhance food safety. Click here to learn more about Perdue’s leadership in animal care among large poultry producers. Click here to watch a short video detailing the safety steps poultry producers take at the farm level and throughout the production process.
In recent years, scientific advancements mean cutting-edge testing technologies are coming online. With a focus on continuous improvement above and beyond what is required by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Perdue Farms has begun implementation of certain steps in the USDA’s Proposed Regulatory Framework including testing select incoming flocks for salmonella and investing in cutting-edge equipment enabling our food safety teams to test select product for pathogen quantity and serotype versus prevalence alone.
Collaboration with top scientists and trusted consumer advocates
Perdue pioneered the removal of unnecessary antibiotics from American poultry production with its No Antibiotics Ever initiative which was welcomed by consumers, public health advocates and widely adopted as the standard by major poultry producers. Today, Perdue Farms is working alongside competitors and trusted consumer advocates on the CSPI-led Coalition for Poultry Safety Reform to identify a new enforceable regulatory standard for protecting public health. Since 2015, when the current performance standard for chicken parts went into effect, the industry has reduced salmonella prevalence by 65%.
Additionally Perdue Farms is funding important research by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study policy options and management approaches to help further reduce Salmonella cases linked to raw poultry. The research project, "Simulation and Modelling to Rationally Target Salmonella Control Strategies in Processing Plants," is a collaboration between Perdue Farms, the University of Illinois, and Cornell University. The project will be led by U of I’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and fully funded by Perdue Farms through January 2024.