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."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

27 November 2014
70% Of Supermarket Chickens Test Positive For Bacteria
A new report by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has revealed that more than 70% of fresh chickens sold in UK supermarkets are contaminated. The chickens are contaminated with the Campylobacter bacteria, that cause a common form of food poisoning.
17 June 2014
FSA Warns People Not To Wash Raw Chicken
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued a call for people to stop washing raw chicken to reduce the risk of contracting campylobacter, a potentially dangerous form of food poisoning.