Measuring commonly occurring, nonpathogenic organisms on poultry products may be used for designing statistical process control systems that could result in reductions of pathogen levels. The extent of pathogen level reduction that could be obtained from actions resulting from monitoring these measurements over time depends upon the degree of understanding cause-effect relationships between processing variables, selected output variables, and pathogens. For such measurements to be effective for controlling or improving processing to some capability level within the statistical process control context, sufficiently frequent measurements would be needed to help identify processing deficiencies. Ultimately the correct balance of sampling and resources is determined by those characteristics of deficient processing that are important to identify. We recommend strategies that emphasize flexibility, depending upon sampling objectives. Coupling the measurement of levels of indicator organisms with practical emerging technologies and suitable on-site platforms that decrease the time between sample collections and interpreting results would enhance monitoring process control.

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