The top nine retailers in the UK have published their testing results on campylobacter contamination in UK-produced fresh whole chickens for the period October to December 2017.
The latest research showed that, on average, across the market, 4.5% of chickens tested positive for the highest level of contamination - those carrying more than 1,000 colony forming units per gram (cfu/g) of campylobacter. The figure testing positive at the highest level of contamination for the previous quarter (July-September 2017) was 5.14%, marking a drop of over .6 percentage points.
This reduction has built on the first set of results released by retailers in November 2017 for July-September, with the overall trend continuing to show a reduction in the highest level of contamination.
The method of recording incidents of campylobacter changed in September 2017, with the testing moving away from the FSA and retailers carrying out their own sampling and publishing their results under robust protocols laid down by the agency.
Michael Wight, director of policy and science at the FSA, said: “It’s good to see that levels of campylobacter found continue on a downward trend. We will continue to monitor the results and procedures of the major retailers and encourage them to maintain the significant progress made so far.
“We would like to thank the British Retail Consortium and the retailers for continuing to take the issue of campylobacter seriously and for working together to coordinate the publication of their results. We are actively working across smaller poultry businesses so that they can also contribute to reducing campylobacter levels.”