Further reduction in campylobacter levels

The top nine retailers across the UK have now published on their websites, their testing results on campylobacter contamination in UK produced fresh whole chickens (covering October to December 2017).

The figures show that on average, across the market, 4.5% 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. The figure testing positive at the highest level of contamination for the previous quarter (July-Sept 17) was 5.14%.

This reduction builds on the first set of results released by retailers in November 2017 (covering July-September) with the overall trend continuing to show a reduction in the highest level of contamination. This is consistent with previous research which shows a lower level of contamination over the cooler months of the year.

Michael Wight, Director of Policy and Science at the Food Standards Agency said: “It’s good to see that levels of campylobacter found continue on a downward trend. We will continue to monitor the results and procedures of the major retailers and encourage them to maintain the significant progress made so far.

“We would like to thank the British Retail Consortium and the retailers for continuing to take the issue of campylobacter seriously and for working together to coordinate the publication of their results. We are actively working across smaller poultry businesses so that they can also contribute to reducing campylobacter levels.”

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