Chicken contamination figures due

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Published: Thursday 26th February 2015 by The News Editor

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The latest rates of campylobacter contamination of fresh shop-bought chickens will be published today by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

In November, the FSA reported that contamination had significantly increased since August, with every major retailer failing to meet targets to reduce the bug.

The FSA said then that the cumulative results from the first two quarters of its year-long survey of fresh chickens found 70% tested positive for the presence of campylobacter, up from 59% in August.

Almost a fifth of all chickens (18%) tested positive for the bug above the highest level of contamination, or 1,000 colony forming units per gram (cfu/g), and 6% of packaging tested positive – up from 4% in August.

The 12-month survey, which began in February last year, will test 4,000 samples of whole chickens bought from UK retail outlets and smaller independent stores and butchers.

Campylobacter is killed by thorough cooking and can be limited by careful hygiene but it is the most common form of food poisoning in the UK, affecting an estimated 280,000 people a year.

Poultry is the source of the majority of these cases.

Published: Thursday 26th February 2015 by The News Editor

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