73 per cent of fresh supermarket chickens contain campylobacter, FSA finds

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29th May 2015 10:22 - Food

A recent survey by industry watchdog, the Food Standards Agency, has made the shocking discovery that nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of 73 per cent of supermarket chickens contain Campylobacter, FSA findsfresh chickens bought in supermarkets have tested positive for the harmful food poisoning bug, campylobacter.

Of the supermarket chickens tested, it was found that 19 per cent contained the highest level of the bug.

Campylobacter affects 280,000 people every year and in some serious cases, can leave victims bed ridden with food poisoning for weeks.

The year long survey, which ran from February 2014 to February 2015, studied the presence and levels of campylobacter contamination on whole, fresh chickens and the packaging they came in.

The findings indicated that all major retailers did not meet the industry target for decreasing campylobacter contamination over the period the survey ran for.

Although, Tesco fell below the industry average for the amount of chickens contaminated at the highest level.

The Food Standard Agency’s findings from the first three quarters of the survey has indicated that the total rate of contamination has halted at 73 per cent since February , however, it has increased from 70 per cent in November and 59 per cent in August.

During the course of the study, more than 4,000 samples of fresh, whole chickens, and their packaging, were tested. All of the samples were of chickens from major UK supermarkets, smaller independent stores and butchers.

This summer, a second year of testing will commence, with the aim to monitor the effect of interventions being adopted by the industry, to try and combat campylobacter.

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