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FSA To Name and Shame Retailers in Campylobacter Survey

September 8, 2014

Food Standards Agency chiefs have agreed to ‘name and shame’ retailers who have sold poultry that has tested positive for campylobacter when they publish their next set of data in November.

The decision marks a ‘U’ turn by the agency who had initially claimed that the data would not be good enough to name individual outlets. Results from the first quarter of the FSA’s year long survey were published in August, based on 850 samples they revealed that 59% of carcasses tested were contaminated with campylobacter.

FSA policy director Steve Wearne is now happy that retailers can be named in the next set of figures saying; “Since August, double the number of samples have been collected, which better reflects the situation across the country. Tackling campylobacter is the FSA’s top priority in the fight against food poisoning and we want people to have the clearest possible information on the food they buy. We have set a clear expectation for poultry producers and retailers to take action to reduce levels of campylobacter in chicken.”

The survey consisting of a total of 4,000 samples of whole chicken bought from retail outlets independent stores and butchers will conclude in February 2015 with a final report published in July. Campylobacter is the most common form of food borne illness in the UK affecting an estimated 280,000 people every year.