Worst supermarkets for campylobacter contaminated chickens named by FSA

Contamination of fresh shop-bought chickens has risen significantly new figures released by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) show.

The FSA has also 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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Supermarkets 'working even harder to stop contamination'

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has defended supermarkets after new FSA testing found an increase in the number of raw chickens contaminated by campylobacter.

Today's figures are an important reminder that we have not yet found a way to prevent the presence of campylobacter in raw chicken and supermarkets are working even harder to find solutions to help consumers such as leak-proof packaging for all raw chicken and new roast-in-the-bag products - this is our top priority for food safety.

We are committed to continuing the search for a solution to campylobacter and we support the work of the FSA to get clear advice to consumers about proper cooking and kitchen hygiene.

There has been concern that implementing a solution to prevent campylobacter will mean the cost of chicken increases but we believe any increase should be small and in our competitive market retailers will work with their suppliers to do everything they can to avoid passing this on to consumers.

– Andrew Opie, BRC's director of food and sustainability

Chicken contamination is 'damning indictment of supermarkets'

Consumer group Which? said supermarket bosses should "hang their heads in shame" after the level of campylobacter contaminated chickens was revealed by the FSA.

These results are a damning indictment of supermarkets and consumers will be rightly shocked at the failure of trusted household brands to stem the tide of increasingly high levels of campylobacter.

It's now vital that the industry cleans up its act and works hard to restore consumer confidence. We want to see supermarkets not only publishing effective plans that tackle these scandalously high levels but also demonstrate they're taking real action to make chicken safe.

– Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director


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.

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