Major retailers publish campylobacter results for January-March 2019

The top nine retailers across the UK have today published their latest testing results on campylobacter contamination in UK-produced fresh whole chickens (covering samples tested from January to March 2019).

The latest figures 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. 

Rebecca Sudworth, Director of Policy at the Food Standards Agency, said: “Campylobacter levels have remained steady and are below our target of 7% at the highest level of contamination. Nevertheless, we will continue to work closely with retailers to bring levels down to as low as reasonably achievable.

“Our advice to consumers remains the same: take care when handling raw chicken, do not wash it, and ensure it is cooked thoroughly before serving.”


Contamination levels April-June 2018 July-September 2018 October-December 2018 January-March 2019
cfu/g less than 10 60.6% 58.8% 63.1% 55.4%
cfu/g 10-99 23.3% 26.7% 22.3% 25.3%
cfu/g 100-1000 12.5% 11% 11.4% 15.8%
cfu/g over 1000 3.7% 3.5% 3.1% 3.5%

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