USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) this week announced it is granting a pilot project to a chicken processing establishment to “examine the merits and logistics of excluding Salmonella poultry vaccine strains from the FSIS Salmonella performance categorization calculation.”

The project was granted to Pilgrim’s Pride in Mount Pleasant, Texas, on March 30, 2023. FSIS did not say the duration of the project.

“The data collected during the pilot will be shared with and analyzed by FSIS to determine whether it supports changes to existing FSIS Salmonella control strategies,” FSIS said of the pilot project.

“On October 19, 2021, USDA announced that FSIS would be mobilizing a stronger and more comprehensive effort to reduce Salmonella illnesses associated with poultry products,” FSIS added. “A key component of this effort is identifying ways to incentivize use of preharvest controls to reduce Salmonella contamination coming into the slaughterhouse. In November 2021, FSIS held roundtable listening sessions with industry and consumer groups to answer questions about establishment pilot projects.”

FSIS’s list of pilot projects for Salmonella control strategies, including any projects granted in the future, can be found here. Further information regarding how to submit a proposal as well as frequently asked questions can be found here.