A new proposal to enforce new federal standards to reduce instances of Salmonella and Campylobacter in ground chicken and turkey products as well as raw chicken breasts, legs and wings was announced today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). This proposal stems from the FSIS’ Salmonella Action Plan launched in December 2013. These specific poultry items have been targeted because they are the most popular among Americans, according to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. These new measures could prevent tens of thousands of illnesses each year.

"These new standards, as well as improved testing patterns, will have a major impact on public health," said USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Al Almanza. "The proposed changes are another way we're working to meet the ever-changing food safety landscape and better protect Americans from foodborne illness."

By tightening the standards by which ground poultry is measured, officials believe these products will experience less contamination, thus diminishing the number of foodborne illnesses by 50,000 per year.