Intertek’s food testing laboratory in Derby offers the new service, said to give test results for the food poisoning bug twice as quickly as the traditional method.
Intertek business development and key account manager Suzanne Darley said it had been using the technique to test poultry processed by Faccenda since early this year.
“The method that has been used by the FSA [Food Standards Agency] and used by ourselves in conjunction with Faccenda takes half the time,” Darley said.
‘Safer end product’
“If it is positive, the result is confirmed within three days as opposed to six days. It is good for the industry because it means that corrective actions can be taken. That then leads to a safer end product.”
Darley said the method involves counting the number of colonies per gram in the original food sample. “It’s a new service that we are offering to all poultry processors,” she said.
Faccenda technical director David Keeble described Intertek as its “trusted testing partner” in the fight to reduce campylobacter in poultry products.
‘Invest in new initiatives’
“This year Intertek have provided great support as we have continued to invest in new initiatives to combat campylobacter,” Keeble said.
As part of its efforts to reduce campylobacter, Faccenda has introduced cutting-edge SonoSteam technology, which uses steam and ultrasound technology, from Denmark.
Intertek global quality and technical director John Searle said: “The on-going work for our clients, including Faccenda, means that we have developed expert laboratories, fully equipped to tackle campylobacter.”
Campylobacter, a pathogen usually found on raw poultry, remains by far the biggest cause of food poisoning despite the FSA’s campaign to drive figures down.
A year-long survey, from February 2014 to February this year, found that 73% of supermarket chickens tested positive for campylobacter.
The number of people infected with campylobacter in the first 35 weeks of 2015 was 42,147, compared with 41,083 for the same period last year, according to Public Health England.
Verdict from Faccenda
“This year Intertek have provided great support as we have continued to invest in new initiatives to combat campylobacter.”
- David Keeble, technical director at Faccenda Foods