British turkey free of salmonella

The British Poultry Council and Quality British Turkey today welcomed the results of the EFSA survey of European turkey flocks.

The low level of salmonella of public health significance in British turkey flocks confirms the success of British turkey breeders and farmers in combating salmonella.

Andrew Lewins, chairman of British Turkey, said: "These results endorse Quality British Turkey as the consumer's leading choice for high standards of food safety, farm hygiene and animal welfare. Salmonella control plans are a key part of our assurance scheme."

There are two types of salmonella that are common to human infections. Only three out of the 317 QBT accredited flocks, less than 1% of UK turkeys, tested positive for one of the salmonella stains. This is far below the EU average and non-QBT farmers.

Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium are the two most common human salmonella infections in the UK and throughout the EU. No UK turkey flocks tested positive for S.Enteritidis and only three of the Quality British Turkey accredited flocks out of 317 sampled were positive for S.Typhimurium.

Lewins concluded: "This result is a big vote of confidence in the investment by QBT turkey producers in effective hygiene and controls in place on QBT turkey farms. There is still more to be done and we must not be complacent, but this is a very encouraging result and British turkey farmers can be rightly proud of what has been achieved".

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