URBANA, ILL. — Perdue Farms announced a partnership with Cornell University and the University of Illinois to reduce Salmonella cases linked to raw poultry.

Through January 2024, Perdue will fund the research project, “Simulation and Modelling to Rationally Target Salmonella Control Strategies in Processing Plants.” The study will build risk assessment models that optimize Salmonella control strategies for poultry producers.

“Perdue Farms is proud to support meaningful research into Salmonella control strategies as we continue to learn and adapt our approach to food safety from farm to fork,” said Bruce Stewart-Brown, senior vice president of technical services and innovation at Perdue Farms. “Heightened food safety regulatory standards backed by science are a priority for our family-owned company, and we are confident these efforts will lead to improvements in public health and a reduction in recall risk for companies in the meat and poultry industry over time.

“Ultimately, our aim is to provide consumers with the safest possible products and reduce Salmonella contamination throughout the poultry supply chain. Partnership — including with industry, academia, regulators and consumer advocates — is the only way we get there.”

Matthew Stasiewicz, assistant professor of applied food safety in the department of food science and human nutrition at U of I., is leading the project.

Stasiewicz said, in addition to funding, Perdue is supplying data on Salmonella control strategies that would otherwise be difficult to generate at such a large scale.

The project follows a national push toward Salmonella prevention.

In August 2022, FSIS declared Salmonella an adulterant in breaded and stuffed raw chicken products, giving the agency authority to recall affected products and ensure they are not sold to consumers. The agency followed the announcement with a proposed regulatory framework to reduce foodborne illnesses.

Earlier this month, FSIS invited poultry slaughter and processing businesses to submit proposals for pilot projects to test different control strategies for Salmonella contamination in poultry products.