A new progress report from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) compiles results of salmonella testing on 30,686 samples from eight meat and poultry classes in 2012. The report shows a reduction in positive tests in most cases, although there was a slight increase in the incidence of salmonella on steer and heifer carcasses.

Salmonella incidence declines in most meat typesAccording to the report 1.1 percent of samples from slaughter steers and heifers tested positive in 2012 compared with 0.5 percent from samples in 2011. Positive tests on market cows and bulls declined from 0.8 percent in 2011 to 0.0 percent in 2012.

In 2012, 14,665 ground beef samples were analyzed and 1.9 percent tested positive for salmonella, compared with 2.4 percent positive from 13,161 samples in 2011 and 2.2 percent positive from 9,256 samples.

The incidence of salmonella is higher in poultry than in beef, but the report shows declines there as well. In 2012 FSIS analyzed 10,933 salmonella samples from young chicken establishments. The total percentage of positive samples was 4.3 percent, down from 6.5 percent, 6.7 percent, 7.2 percent, and 7.3 percent in 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008, respectively.

For ground chicken, the agency analyzed 1,376 samples in 2013 and found a total of 28 percent positive, down from 30.9 percent in 2011.

Among market hogs, 1.3 percent tested positive in 2012 compared with 3.3 percent in 2011.

The full report is available online from FSIS.