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USDA: Avian leukosis now a "trimmable condition"

Following a petition by the National Chicken Council, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service will now handle avian leukosis as a “trimmable condition”, announces Food Safety News.

In the future, poultry carcasses affected with one or more of the several forms of avian leukosis complex will no longer be condemned.

Avian leukosis as a “trimmable condition”. Photo: Ruud Ploeg
Avian leukosis as a “trimmable condition”. Photo: Ruud Ploeg

The petition from the National Chicken Council had specifically asked the Food Safety and Inspection Service to “treat lesions that could be suspected as being caused by avian leukosis as a trimmable condition and not a condition that requires whole bird condemnation.”

...avian leukosis does not present a food-safety risk...”

The petition further stated: “Amending the regulations is supported by scientifically and economically sound rationales: avian leukosis does not present a food-safety risk, modern understanding of the avian disease is much more advanced than when FSIS first developed its policy, the condition is not a systemic disease, modern vaccination and breeding programs have all but eliminated avian leukosis, and amending the regulation would reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens.”

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Under the New Poultry Inspection System, the first 300 birds in an incoming flock are checked for avian leukosis.