The current government standards applied to the safety of chicken and turkey allows for 20 percent of the animals tested at the plant to be positive for salmonella. Shocking! But new regulations lower that amount to only 7.5 percent of animals that can have the bacteria present. By changing these standards, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) hopes to lessen the chances of the public experiencing life-threatening food poisoning from salmonella that can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that more than 1.5 million cases of salmonella are reported each year, with about 500 cases resulting in death.