Steady levels of campylobacter in supermarket chickens

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Levels of campylobacter in UK-produced chickens sold in supermarkets remain steady as the nation’s top retailers publish their latest testing results.

Since 2014, Food Standards Agency (FSA) has been testing chickens for campylobacter and publishing the results to unite the food chain to tackle the issue.

As of September 2017, however, the survey was altered allowing major retailers to carry out their own sampling and publishing their results under FSA protocols.

The latest figures – from July to September 2018 – show that on average, across the major retailers, 3.5% of chickens tested positive for the highest level of contamination.

These are the chickens carrying more than 1,000 colony forming units per gram (cfu/g) of campylobacter.

 

Results by percentage (courtesy of FSA)

The corresponding figure for the previous set of results (April – June 2018) was 3.7%, while for the first publication (July-September 2017) it was 4.6%.

Michael Wight, FSA Director of Policy, said: “The latest figures show further progress being made in our efforts to reduce campylobacter in UK-produced fresh whole chickens.

“We will continue to build on these encouraging results, working closely with retailers and smaller poultry businesses to bring levels down to as low as reasonably achievable.

“Thanks again to the major retailers and poultry producers for continuing to tackle campylobacter and for working alongside the FSA in the publication of the results.”