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Greens Say New Poultry code too weak to tackle campy epidemic

The government of New Zealand latest attempts to combat Campylobacter have come under fire from the country’s Green Party.  Scoop, an independent news service in New Zealand, says the Greens think the Poultry code too weak to tackle campy epidemic. It reports that:

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority has missed a vital chance to stem this country’s campylobacter-related epidemic, the Green Party says.

The new Code of Practice for processing of poultry, while a small step in the right direction, fails to include some very simple measures to stem the tide of campylobacter contamination of chicken meat being sold to New Zealanders, Safe Food Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"Campylobacter is a nasty food-borne illness that is estimated to affect around 100,000 New Zealanders each year, and sees about 650 people hospitalised. Estimates are that around 80 percent of cases stem from contaminated chicken.

The Authority’s own studies show that campylobacter cross-contamination is occurring at virtually all stages of poultry processing and sale, yet the simple steps that can be taken to prevent this have barely been addressed in the new Code of Practice.

"A higher emphasis should be placed on more hygienic methods of transportation to avoid cross-contamination between live birds. Campylobacter lives in the gut of the chicken and transporting them in cages stacked on top of each other will inevitably result in the droppings from birds higher up the stack contaminating those below them

The complete report can be found here.