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Details on food poisoning bug in chickens to be released

The extent of food poisoning bug Campylobacter among shop-bought chickens will be revealed today.

Campylobacter is the most common form of food poisoning in the UK and is found in poultry. Credit: PA Wire

The Food Standards Authority (FSA) will publish the second set of results, in the year-long testing of whole chickens bought from UK retailers and smaller independent stores and butchers.

The announcement will name individual retailers for the first time, following criticism of the FSA's decision not to identify retailers in the first set of results in August.

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.


Which: 'Poultry industry should clean up its act'

Consumer rights watchdog Which?, said yesterday that supermarkets should tell their customers which batches of chicken had tested positive for campylobacter.

It’s in the public interest to publish information about bacteria levels in chickens destined for supermarkets, so the poultry industry should clean up its act and be more accountable and transparent.

– Richard Lloyd, executive director of the consumer rights watchdog Which?

BPC: 24% of chicken contained highest contamination

Some 24% out of 5,000 batches of chicken randomly selected for testing each year at slaughterhouses contained the highest of three levels of contamination at more than 1,000 bacteria per gram, according to the organisation that represents chicken producers.

BPC: 24% of chicken contained highest contamination. Credit: PA

The British Poultry Council's director of food policy Richard Griffiths said that the results were available within two days and shared immediately with retailers

The (£) Times reported that by that stage, the "chicken was likely to be on supermarket shelves".

Salt 'kills 1.6 million' worldwide

Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Consuming too much salt leads to more than 1.6 million heart disease-related deaths around the world each year, research suggests.

Scientists based the finding on an analysis of 205 surveys of sodium intake in countries representing nearly three-quarters of the world's adult population.

Effects of sodium on blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk were determined in a separate study of pooled trial data.

The average level of sodium consumption in 2010 was found to be 3.95 grams per day - nearly double the two grammes recommended by the World Health Organisation.


Funding for food projects 'huge boost to UK farmers'

Almost £18 million worth of funding towards 15 UK-led food projects will be a huge boost to British farmers, Environment Secretary Liz Truss has said.

This move will mean that food served in canteens across the public sector can be more local, seasonal and tastier. This is a huge boost to British farmers and producers and for students, patients and employees who want to enjoy fantastic food

– Liz Truss, Environment Secretary

Opening up public sector cash 'to help UK farmers'

Prime Minister David Cameron to inject cash into 15 UK-led food projects Credit: PA

Schools, hospitals and the wider public sector will be encouraged to buy "locally sourced" fresh and seasonal produce, according to Number 10, under an £18 million food initiative.

Up to £400 million of up to £600 million spent by the public sector on imported food and drink could be sourced from within the UK, they added.

By opening up these contracts, we can help (our farmers) create more jobs, invest in their businesses and make sure people in our country have a healthier lifestyle. It's a triple-win - and will mean a brighter future for our country.

– Prime Minister David Cameron

£18m UK-led food projects to help local farmers

Making lamb tastier to eat and growing new strawberries without soil are among research projects receiving a share of almost £18 million, Downing Street has announced.

New UK-led food projects to help local farmers Credit: PA

Fifteen UK-led projects will share funding of £12.1 million provided by Government and £5.7 million from industry, which also include investigating the protection of peas and beans from beetles without widespread insecticide spraying and using light to extend the shelf-life of fresh produce.

Millions of pounds of public sector cash will also be up for grabs to British farmers from 2017 when central government commits to buying "locally sourced" fresh and seasonal produce when it can do so, Prime Minister David Cameron said.

Over half of bread 'contains pesticides'

Pesticide residue was found in almost two thirds of bread products in the UK, according to a report based on Government figures.

Studies had shown that even very low doses of certain pesticides ingested regularly and in combination with other chemicals could have Credit: PA

The amount has more than doubled in bread products with 63% found in bread products last year, where as only 28% was found to contain pesticide residue in 2001.

The study by the Pesticide Action Network (Pan) UK and the Organic Naturally Different campaign said some 7% of the organic samples - three out of 42 products tested - contained a single residue, while none contained multiple residues.

Pan UK said the most likely explanation for this was cross-contamination from non-organic crops, either during production or storage.

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