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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 urged to 'name retailers selling food bug chicken'

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have come under fire from a consumer watchdog for keeping back the names of retailers believed to be selling chicken carrying a food poisoning bug.

Campylobacter is killed by thorough cooking. Credit: PA

Which? called for sellers to be named and shamed after the FSA found almost three fifths of fresh shop-bought chickens had the bug campylobacter.

The food poisoning bug was found in 59% of the birds tested by the FSA and identified outside of the packaging in a further 4% of the samples.

The survey will test 4,000 samples of whole chickens bought from UK retail outlets and smaller independent stores and butchers. The new results are for the first quarter and represent 853 samples.

The FSA said that previous studies carried out into the prevalence of the bug had also shown around two thirds of raw poultry carries it.

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