Additional measures ensure the chicks inherit the
hens’ maternal antibodies, including the use of
BEFORE THE EGG
Healthy breeder hens lead to healthy eggs and healthy chicks. Breeder hens are cared for by farmers and veterinarians who have undergone significant animal health, husbandry and welfare training.
See how farmers, veterinarians and processors keep food safety top of mind through every stage of a chicken's life.
The U.S. Chicken Industry’s Commitment to
from Farm to Fork
Farmers and veterinarians maintain a strict, biosecure environment to protect the birds from diseases, predators and pests.
Comprehensive biosecurity measures aid in minimizing potential foodborne bacteria.
Farmers limit foot traffic on the farm and all visitors
must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect
In between flocks, farmers pile up and heat the litter, (known as "windrowing")
to kill any harmful bacteria.
The corn and soybean meal that chickens eat is either heat-treated or chemically treated, killing any harmful bacteria.
Highly trained nutritionists and veterinarians tailor
diets to each stage of the chicken’s life.
All chicken produced in the U.S. is closely monitored and 100% inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Federal inspectors and company personnel are present at all times during processing to help ensure every chicken product is safe, wholesome and correctly labeled and packaged.
The industry ensures compliance with all FSIS regulations by:
If needed, the U.S. chicken industry has robust trace-back and
trace-forward capabilities that help ensure products are identified
and promptly removed from the marketplace.
PROCESSING & TRANSPORTATION
Food Safety: On the Road
Before loading chicken products, truck trailers are inspected for proper cooling and cleaning.
More to Packaging than Meets the Eye
Did you know FSIS agents inspect the wrapped chicken products again, some of which are sent through a "blast freezer" to extend shelf life?
Cleaning the chicken with organic rinses
potential foodborne pathogens.
Using metal detectors and
x-rays so no
foreign object enters a product or package.
Conducting microbiological tests to ensure products meet strict USDA standards.
The Prevalence of
in Raw Chicken
is at All-Time Lows
According to the latest USDA data available,
more than 97% of whole chickens tested negative for
Keeping the meat at the proper cool temperature
Products then might pass through a metal detector for one final check to confirm everything is, well, chicken.
as did more than 93% of chicken parts.
To learn more about the U.S. chicken industry’s commitment to food safety from farm to fork, visit:
• Wash hands before handling
food and between handling
different food items.
• Also wash kitchen work
surfaces, cutting boards
and utensils thoroughly
with soap and hot water
immediately after they
have been in contact with
• Separate raw poultry from
other foods in your grocery
shopping cart, grocery bags,
refrigerator and kitchen.
• Do not rinse raw poultry
in your sink—it can spread
bacteria from raw juices
around your sink,
countertops or onto
• Bacteria in raw meat
and poultry can ONLY be
killed when cooked to a
safe internal temperature.
• Always cook poultry to at
least 165°F internal
temperature as measured
with a food thermometer,
since the color of cooked
chicken is not a sure sign
of its safety.
• Set refrigerators at 40°F
• Thaw frozen poultry in
on the countertop or in
• Refrigerate leftovers
no more than 2 hours
after cooking and eat
within 2 to 3 days.
4 simple words—clean, separate, cook and chill—can serve as reminders to reduce the risk of foodborne illness at home.
FOOD SAFETY AT HOME
There are steps you can take to ensure food safety at the grocery store, too.
THE GROCERY STORE
Shop for poultry products last.
Put raw chicken packages in a plastic bag provided by the store, and keep raw products in their own separate grocery bag.
Transport chicken in an insulated grocery bag and then refrigerate promptly at home.
Strict sanitation and biosecurity measures help ensure a safe and clean environment.
Chicks are vaccinated to start off healthy.
What if there's a problem?
SOURCE: USDA FSIS