(NEWSnet/AP) — U.S. Department of Agriculture will require poultry producers to bring salmonella bacteria to an extremely low level in specific chicken products.

When the regulation takes effect in 2025, salmonella will be considered an adulterant when it is detected above a certain threshold in frozen breaded and stuffed raw chicken products. That includes frozen cordon bleu and Kiev dishes that appear to be fully cooked, but are only heat-treated to set the batter or coating.

It's the first time USDA has declared salmonella an adulterant in raw poultry, in the same way some E. coli bacteria are regarded as contaminants, said Sandra Eskin, a USDA food safety official.

The new rule also means that if a product exceeds the allowed level of salmonella, it cannot be sold and is subject to recall, Eskin said.

Salmonella poisoning accounts for more than 1.3 million infections and about 420 deaths each year in the U.S., according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Food is the source of most of those illnesses.

The breaded and stuffed raw chicken products have been associated with at least 14 salmonella cases and at least 200 illnesses since 1998, CDC statistics show.

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