According to Poultry World, levels of campylobacter in chicken sold by the UK’s major retailers continue to fall, according to statistics released by the Food Standards Agency on Wednesday 18 October.
Just 5.9% of chickens had high levels of campylobacter in the survey – which sampled 1,437 birds between April and July – down from 20.1% for the same period in 2014.
The FSA announced last month that it was changing its annual campylobacter retail survey with the top 9 retailers publishing their own results. Instead, the Agency would concentrate on smaller retailers, independent traders and markets stalls where levels of campylobacter have been stubbornly high.
Full results from the third annual retail survey, running from August 2016 to July 2017, showed:
- The figure for high-level campylobacter prevalence (more than 1,000 cfu/g) among the top nine retailers (based on market share) was 5.6%
- The ‘Others’ group, consisting of smaller retailers and butchers, had a significantly higher prevalence at 17.1%
- The retailers with significantly lower prevalence than the average among all retailers were Morrisons (2.9%), Tesco (4.2%) and Waitrose (2.7%)
- There was a significant fall in the percentage of chickens positive for campylobacter at any level – down from 73.2% in 2014/5 to 54% in 2016/7.