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'Shame' as major supermarkets all miss official targets for reducing bacterial contamination

Not one of the major supermarkets has met official targets for reducing the bacterial contamination. Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Chicken is a staple of our national diet - yet test results released today show 70% of fresh chickens were contaminated. The food poisoning bacteria campylobacter's presence in so much supermarket produce should shame Britain's biggest grocery chains say consumer groups.

Not one of the major supermarkets has met official targets for reducing the bacterial contamination.

  • At Asda 78% of fresh chickens tested had the food poisoning Bactria
  • Morrisons 69%
  • Sainsburys 69%
  • Tesco 64%
Not one of the major supermarkets has met official targets for reducing the bacterial contamination. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Campylobacter is killed by thorough cooking- but it is the most common form of food poisoning in the UK, affecting an estimated 280,000 people a year.

Each supermarket I have spoken to says it is putting plans into action to reduce this contamination - but they have known about the problem for years. Previously food officials refused to name the supermarkets with this contamination in their produce, yet it seems that only by identifying them can the Food Standards Agency shame them into action.

For Britain's big grocers the danger of bad publicity has prompted response, for customers the danger is far worse - a very dangerous illness. That danger has not yet been tackled.

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