FSA publishes 12 month Campylobacter figures

The consumer magazine Which? has responded strongly to publication of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) final report of its year-long survey of Campylobacter levels on UK fresh shop-bought chickens.

The report, an analysis of the data from the survey carried out by the FSA between February 2014 and March 2015, shows the levels of Campylobacter found on fresh, whole chickens sold in the UK.

It found that 73% of chickens tested positive for the presence of Campylobacter and 7% of packaging also tested positive for the presence of the deadly bug.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd said: “The stark fact is that three out of four supermarket chickens people buy could be infected with a potentially fatal bacteria. It goes without saying that retailers, the industry and the FSA must continue with their efforts to crack down on campylobacter.

“It’s encouraging that some supermarkets are making headway in tackling this bug, but we must now see all retailers take urgent action to meet FSA targets and make chicken safe.”

The survey results, which were published on a quarterly basis throughout the year, allowed consumers for the first time to compare the Campylobacter levels found on chickens from all of the major UK retailers. Chicken contaminated with Campylobacter kills one person in the UK every three days and is responsible for at least 280,000 cases of foo poisoning every year, according to the FSA.

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