New study reveals extent of campylobacter contamination

One in five chicken products sold in UK supermarkets are contamined with campylobacter, according to a new investigation by Which?

Which? tested standard, oranic and free-range whole chickens and chicken portions from Aldi, Asda, The Co-operative, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose, taking a total of 193 samples. They found that one in five (18%) of the samples were contaminted with campylobacter, while 14% were contanimated with listeria and 1.5% were contamined with salmonella.

The consumer organisation said that while the results suggest an improvement on the FSA’s findings in 2009 that 65% of fresh chickens were contamined with campylobacter at point of sale, the levels of contamination were still to high to be acceptable.

It pointed to its research last year, which revealed that  82% of the public want better control of campylobacter throughout the supply chain, rather than having to deal with contamination when cooking and handling chicken.

“While the situation is improving, it is still unacceptable that one in five chickens we tested were found to be contaminated with campylobacter,” said Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director.

 “We want to see the risk of contamination minimised at every stage of production, because for far too long consumers have been expected to clean up mistakes made earlier in the supply chain.”


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