The UK Food Standards Agency has published the first results from the second year of its survey of the prevalence of the foodborne pathogen Campylobacter on fresh whole retail chickens, revealing a small improvement in contamination rates.
The published results refer to the first quarter of testing from July to September 2015, during which 1,032 samples of fresh, chilled, UK- produced whole chickens and packaging were tested. The samples were collected from large retail chains and from smaller stores and butcher’s shops.
The results showed that 76% of the birds tested positive for Campylobacter with 15% showing the highest level of contamination (more than 1000 colony forming units/g). The contamination rate for packaging was 6%. In the same period last year the 83% of birds were contaminated, with high levels being found on 22% of carcases.
Once again the results have been reported by retailer and show differences between the main supermarkets. The Co-op and Waitrose chains had made the biggest reductions in contamination rates and the highest rates were found in samples from Morrisons stores.
The survey results can be found in full here.