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Campylobacter in Three-Fifths of Chicken

August 7, 2014

chickenThe FSA has published the first results of a new survey of campylobacter on fresh shop-bought chicken. 59% tested positive, and in 4% of samples campylobacter was identified on the outside of the packaging.

The FSA estimates four in five cases of campylobacter poisoning in the UK come from contaminated poultry. Campylobacter is killed by thorough cooking, however, it is the most common form of food poisoning in the UK, affecting an estimated 280,000 people a year.

The FSA survey began in February and will run for a year. Today’s results are for the first quarter and represent 853 samples.

The FSA initially said they would name and shame retailers and processors, but following government and industry pressure, they will now wait until they have the full set of results. This has angered consumer groups such as Which?, with Richard Lloyd, Executive Director, saying: “The FSA’s survey reveals unacceptably high levels of campylobacter and they must now publish the names of the retailers so consumers are aware of the best and worst performing shops.”

Catherine Brown, FSA Chief Executive, said: “As soon as we have enough data to robustly compare campylobacter levels in different retailers we will share that data with consumers.”

To see the full data and more information click here.