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Encouraging Results from Latest Campylobacter Survey

February 25, 2016

Results from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) Campylobacter Survey covering the period between October and December 2015 have continued to show a decrease in the number of birds with the highest levels of contamination.

The latest data shows that 11% of chickens were found to be carrying more than 1,000 colony forming units per gram, a decrease of 8% over the corresponding period in 2014. The number of chickens showing contamination had also gone down from from 74% to 59%. During the latest round of testing, 966 samples of fresh whole chilled UK produced chickens and packaging purchased from large retail outlets, and smaller independent butchers were tested.

Steve Wearne, Director of Policy at the FSA is encouraged by the latest developments from the current survey which began in July 2015. ‘These results are heading in the right direction and we must continue to build on this progress,” he said. “Retailers and processors must ensure the interventions that are working are embedded in industry practice. We have also arrived at a point where consumers expect access to data about campylobacter, so the FSA must ensure its survey remains robust and work with industry to ensure as much sampling data as possible are available to the public.”

It’s thought that interventions including improved bio security, the trimming of neck skins and the use of SonoSteam, a new technology that combines steam and ultrasonic sound, have helped to deliver improved results. Campylobacter is still the most common cause of food borne illness in the UK making an estimated 280,000 people ill every year.

You can read the latest survey report HERE.