National Turkey Federation Responds to Pew Report on Ground Turkey

April 2, 2013
Washington, DC

The Turkey Industry Highlights On-going and New Practices to Ensure Food Safety

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) said there was essentially nothing new  in today's report issued by the Pew Charitable Trusts regarding a 2011 voluntary ground turkey recall, because many of the steps outlined in the report have already been implemented by government and industry.

"Many aspects of the recall underscored the best in government-industry collaboration and transparency as both worked to respond to the outbreak of Salmonella illnesses, said NTF President Joel Brandenberger.  "Both also learned important lessons.  One of those was the need for earlier communications, and we commend USDA and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) for their efforts to enhance the timeliness of communications since 2011."

NTF also believes FSIS and the Center for Disease Control have strived to share epidemiological data sooner as well.

"In essence, many recommendations contained in the report have been in place and working for more than a year," Brandenberger said.  "Some of the other recommendations, such as devoting more government resources to Salmonella are worthwhile goals.  NTF and its members are committed and vigilant partners with regulators and consumers in the effort to maintain the safety of all meat and poultry products."

As one example, NTF and its members continue to enhance the industry's already robust Salmonellacontrol program, utilizing recommendations from a turkey industry 2011 Salmonella "summit."

And, because many foodborne illnesses are preventable, NTF seeks opportunities to educate the public about safe food handling practices and to highlight the many aggressive efforts the turkey industry takes to deliver safe, nutritious products to its customers.