FSA looking to name food bug chicken retailers 'quickly'

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) will attempt to name the retailers who sell chicken which has tested positive for a food poisoning bug "more quickly" after criticism from a consumer group.

Which? criticised the FSA for not revealing that almost three fifths of fresh shop-bought chicken tested positive for campylobacter but failed to name any retailers who sold it.

Campylobacter is killed by thorough cooking, but is the most common form of food poisoning in the UK, affecting an estimated 280,000 people a year, and the majority of these cases come from contaminated poultry.

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FSA looking to name food bug chicken retailers 'quickly'

The Food Standards Agency will attempt to name the retailers who sell chicken which has tested positive for a food poisoning bug "more quickly" but releasing that information now "could mislead consumers", the food watchdog said.

The FSA is committed to publishing the full results from its survey of campylobacter on shop-bought chickens, including names of retailers and processors.

However, quarterly results cannot be interpreted in a meaningful way, so breaking results down by retailer and processor at this stage could mislead consumers.

The FSA Board agreed with this position but called for the final results to be delivered sooner than previously planned.

The FSA is now considering how to revise the survey sampling so that full results can be delivered more quickly.

– Food Standards Agency statement

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