Moy Park takes proactive role on campylobacter

Moy Park has made a £1m investment into campylobacter research, to help the poultry industry combat the bacterium.

The research projects have been active across 600 farms in England and Northern Ireland that supply Moy Park, as well as a training programme for 200 farmers on how best to catch the bacterium through biosecurity monitoring and testing programmes. Moreover, the company has developed on-farm testing that gives feedback to farmers on the status of each flock via text message.

Moy Park has worked with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) throughout its research, and has reported it will actively promote the FSA’s ‘Don’t wash your chicken’ campaign during Food Safety Week (16-22 June).

Ursula Lavery, Moy Park technical director Europe, who is an authority in the poultry industry on campylobacter, said: “We have been conducting research into campylobacter for a number of years and have been at the forefront of introducing advanced techniques to reduce campylobacter, which gives the added benefit of protecting the welfare of the birds.
“We work closely with the Food Standards Agency, other government and industry bodies and university research groups across the UK on this.
“However, as a leader in the industry we understand our responsibilities in both reducing campylobacter and communicating to consumers that there is no need to wash raw chicken.
“Our research confirms that consumers know chicken is perfectly safe when cooked and prepared properly and that any unfriendly bacteria are killed during the cooking process.”
The ‘Don’t wash your chicken’ campaign was launched after a survey conducted by the FSA found 44% washed raw chicken before cooking. This campaign therefore aims to warn consumers that washing raw chicken before cooking spreads bacteria and increases the risk of infection.

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