Salmonella prevalence is declining in the US thanks to the HACCP system introduced in 1998, according to a Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) report released by US Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman. Speaking at the the annual Food Safety Summit in Washington, D.C this week Ms. Veneman released data showing a continued decline in Salmonella prevalence in raw meat and poultry products. She pledged to continue working to strengthen food safety programs. Veneman noted that the President's proposed budget provides a $21 million increase in spending for food safety programs, including fully funding 7,600 meat and poultry inspectors in FY 2002. She also outlined food safety principles for the US Department of Agriculture. These include: Encouraging a cooperative approach to food safety policy; food safety policies based on sound scientific principles; continuing to educate the public about all aspects of food safety; and ensuring transparency for the USDA's food safety policy-making process continues to be transparent. Commenting on the FSIS report Ms.Veneman stated, "Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about HACCP is its ability to evolve to address today's issues and prevent tomorrow's problems." "These figures help show that HACCP is working and we are seeing sustained reductions in foodborne illness as well. However, we mustcontinuously review and examine all of our efforts to ensure the protection of our food supply." Further details of the report can be found on the USDA site.