Industry awaits ‘name and shame’ campylobacter results

Retailers are bracing themselves ahead of the release of the next quarterly FSA campylobacter survey results tomorrow, which will ‘name and shame’ poor performers.

Earlier in the year the FSA said it would not name retailers, as there was not enough data to be interpreted in a meaningful way and consumers could be misled. But it now believes enough samples have been collected to reflect the situation more correctly. Negative results for retailers from the survey, which looks at shop-bought chickens, could further knock consumer confidence, with the issue of campylobacter already very much in the spotlight at the moment.

Tomorrow’s stats come after the first set of quarterly survey results were released in August this year, which showed that 59% of birds from 853 samples tested positive for the presence of campylobacter.

The British Poultry Council (BPC) said it viewed tomorrow’s release of retail survey data “as another step to reduce the number of cases of food poisoning by raising awareness amongst consumers. Over the past five years the poultry sector, with retailers and the FSA, has worked hard to understand how this naturally occurring bug gets into flocks, how we can stop it, and how we can remove it once it’s there. It is right that consumers have plenty of information on which to base their buying decisions – be that on safety, welfare, convenience or price.”

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