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FSA Publishes Latest Campylobacter Results

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FSA Publishes Latest Campylobacter Results

FSA Publishes Latest Campylobacter Results
June 01
09:30 2016

The UK Food Standards Agency has published the latest results from its survey of campylobacter on fresh shop-bought chickens. The results for January to March 2016 continue to show a decrease both in the number of birds with campylobacter on them and those with the highest level of contamination from the equivalent quarter last year.

The latest data show 9.3% of chickens tested positive for the highest level of contamination in this quarter, down from 21.8% for the three months from December 2014 to February 2015. Campylobacter was present on 50% of chicken samples, down from 71% in the equivalent quarter of the previous year. We tested 1,009 samples of fresh whole chilled UK-produced chickens and packaging this quarter.

Steve Wearne, Director of Policy at the FSA, comments: “These results are moving in the right direction and I am delighted with progress. It shows what can be done by a real commitment to tackle this bug and I am encouraging industry to go even further, more quickly, to continue to get the numbers down.”

He adds: “One of the reasons the survey results are lower this quarter is because of the decision taken by a number of retailers and their suppliers to remove neck skin from the bird before it goes on sale. This is good news for the consumer because the neck skin is the most contaminated part of the chicken. However it is also the part of the bird that we have been testing in our survey and this means that comparisons with previous results are not as reliable as we would like.”

For this quarter, the FSA is giving an overall figure for the amount of campylobacter on chicken and not breaking the figures down by retailer as it normally does.

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