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FSA Releases Final Campylobacter Report
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have released the final analysis report on the first part of its UK-wide campylobacter survey. The study tested 4,011 samples of whole fresh chickens from February 2014 to March 2015, with analysis undertaken at six UK laboratories including one in Northern Ireland. Results showed that campylobacter was present in 73.3% of chickens tested, with 6.8% showing contamination on the outer packaging. Significant differences in retailers were discovered with similar discrepancies found between slaughterhouse approval codes. A seasonal variation was also detected, with higher levels of contamination found during the summer months.
FSA director of policy Steve Wearne said, “The FSA’s retail survey has been an important part of our work to tackle campylobacter. Thanks to the focus the survey has put on the industry, retailers and processors are starting to invest in new interventions to tackle the bug. Our new retail survey, which is already underway, will allow us to track progress and give us an indication of where these interventions are delivering results.”
As a result of the survey, a number of major retailers have introduced campylobacter plans aimed at reducing the number of birds with greater than 1,000 colony forming units per gram on their skin to below 10%. The first results from the new FSA survey which started in July are expected to be released in November.
You can download a copy of the full analysis report HERE