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Tesco 'committed' to reducing food poisoning bug

Tesco has said it is "committed" to reducing the food poisoning bug campylobacter in poultry.

'Providing safe food is always our absolute priority,' Tesco said. Credit: PA Wire

"Providing safe food is always our absolute priority," a Tesco spokesperson said.

"Whilst there is no simple solution to prevent its presence in raw poultry we have and will continue to work in close collaboration with our suppliers, scientists and relevant industry experts to make solid progress to tackle the problem at all stages of the supply chain."

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British Poultry Council welcomes progress over bug

The British Poultry Council (BPC) has welcomed the news that retailers and suppliers are making "significant progress" in monitoring the food poisoning bug campylobacter.

Chief executive Andrew Large said the BPC "hopes proven technology will be made commercially available across the sector."

The British Poultry Council welcomes the 'significant progress'. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

"The BPC remains committed to collaborative working between industry, retailers, and regulators, as we believe this is where long-term consistency will emerge," Large said.

"This joint effort is a complement to the creativity and investment we are seeing.”

Levels of food poisoning bug in chicken 'unacceptable'

Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, has responded to the Food Standard Agency's survey.

He said it's unacceptable that we're still seeing such high and rising levels of campylobacter in chicken.

It’s unacceptable that we're still seeing such high and rising levels of campylobacter in chicken. While four major supermarkets have made their action plans public, the remaining three have yet to say how they're planning to tackle this bug. People need reassurance that supermarkets are doing everything they can to make chicken safe. The remaining retailers must publish their plans and commit to action now before consumer's lose confidence in them.

– Richard Lloyd, Executive Director at Which?

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FSA: 73% of chickens test positive for Campylobacter

Food poisoning bug Campylobacter in shop-bought chickens is more prevalent that initially believed. Credit: PA Wire

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published the latest results from its the first nine-months of its year-long survey into the presence of campylobacter in raw chickens.

Campylobacter is the biggest cause of food poisoning in the UK. The FSA found that almost three quarters of poultry tested positive for the bug.

  • 19% of chickens tested positive for campylobacter within the highest band of contamination (the highest level of infection being more than 1,000 colony forming unites per gram.)
  • 73% of chickens tested positive for the presence of campylobacter.
  • 7% of packaging tested positive for the presence of campylobacter. Only three out of more than 3,000 samples of packaging tested positive at the highest band of contamination.

They have tested more than 3,000 samples of fresh whole chilled chicken and packaging so far, as part of their year-long investigation.

Chicken food poisoning bug figures to be released

The FSA will reveal the latest Campylobacter figures later today. Credit: PA Wire

The latest figures showing the extent of food poisoning bug Campylobacter among shop-bought chicken will be revealed today.

The Food Standards Authority will publish the results this morning.

Campylobacter, which grows in the guts of chickens, is killed through cooking but is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK with some 280,000 people affected every year.

Last year the FSA named individual retailers for the first time, showing Asda to have the highest number of chickens contaminated with campylobacter and Tesco the least.

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