28/05/2015

Food Poisoning Bug Found In 73% Of Chickens - FSA

73% of freshly bought chicken contains the food poisoning bug campylobacter, according to a Food Standards Agency (FSA) report.

The FSA report released today, 28 May, tested over 4000 samples of fresh whole chilled chickens and packaging from retailer and independent stores.

Campylobacter is the most common type of food poisoning in the UK and affects approximately 280,000 people per year.

The FSA said most retailers failed to reach industry targets to reduce the bug during the study.

Samples from Asda showed the supermarket had a "higher incidence" of chickens contaminated by campylobacter.

Tesco was the only retailer to fall below the industry average.

The FSA has welcomed the publication of case studies by Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, the Co-op and Waitrose showing the results of recently implemented campylobacter reduction plans.

Steve Wearne, FSA Director of Policy, said: "I am absolutely delighted to see the really encouraging results from these four supermarkets and their suppliers.

"We expect all retailers and processors to be achieving the reductions we have seen in these retailers’ figures – that’s the only way we will meet the target we all signed up to."

Richard MacDonald, Chair of the Acting on Campylobacter Together (ACT) Board, said he is impressed at the level of commitment retailers have shown in tackling the bug.

He added: "I hope we continue to see further progress in our fight to significantly reduce or even eradicate campylobacter on chickens."

(LM)

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