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New Plan to Tackle Campylobacter

September 4, 2013

Responsible for approximately 460,000 cases and 110 deaths each year, campylobacter is the UK?s most common form of foodborne illness according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA). A recent survey of chickens on sale identified 65% were contaminated, with the bacteria showing little change from initial work in 2008. Reducing cases is one of the agencies top priorities and they have outlined a new strategy to deal with the problem. Chief Executive Catherine Brown explained; ?what we have proposed in this paper is a shift in culture and a refocusing of effort by both government and the food industry to tackle this persistent and serious problem.?

A joint working group of representatives from government and industry set a target of reducing the proportion of chickens with the highest levels of contamination to below 10% by 2015 when they met three years ago. The new strategy will aim to improve the information about levels of campylobacter at all levels of the supply chain, as well as working with Local Government to ensure that food businesses using chilled chicken are made aware of potential risks. Research will continue into the viability of vaccination and other possible long term interventions. The strategy document will be discussed at the next FSA Board meeting in Aberdeen on September 11th.??

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