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UK retailers record good numbers for results of Campylobacter in chicken testing


Supermarkets in the United Kingdom have reported their Campylobacter in chicken results for the third quarter of 2022.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) maximum level is no more than 7 percent of birds with more than 1,000 colony-forming units per gram (CFU/g) of Campylobacter.

Data from the retailers covers July to September 2022 on high findings of Campylobacter in fresh, shop-bought, UK-produced chickens.

Tesco has stopped publishing data as it has changed the way it monitors Campylobacter in chicken so findings are not comparable with other retailers. In the second quarter overall, 3 percent of 298 samples were above 1,000 CFU/g.

Results at Waitrose went up while Lidl, Morrisons, Asda, and Sainsbury’s recorded lower levels of contamination compared to the previous quarter. Figures for Aldi and Co-op stayed the same.

Campylobacter is the most common cause of bacterial food poisoning in the UK and the dose needed to make people sick can be as low as a few hundred cells.

Marks and Spencer have not provided Food Safety News with figures for the third quarter. The retailer had 1 percent in the maximum category in April, 4 percent in May and 3 percent in June from 376 chickens sampled.

Waitrose and Partners had 2 percent testing positive for Campylobacter at levels above 1,000 CFU/g compared to none in the previous quarter.

No change or decline
Aldi’s results stayed the same as the past quarter with 3.3 percent of chickens sampled in the above 1,000 CFU/g category.

Co-op results for the fourth quarter running showed no chickens were contaminated at levels greater than 1,000 CFU/g.

Lidl recorded 2 percent of birds in the highest category, which is down from 8 percent in the previous quarter.

Morrisons had 0.9 percent of chickens at the top contaminated level from 109 birds tested compared to nearly 1.6 percent from 101 samples in the second quarter of 2022.

Asda reported that 0.6 percent tested positive for the highest level of contamination in the latest quarter compared to 2.4 percent in the prior three months.

Sainsbury’s Campylobacter results for the third quarter of 2022 showed that 2 percent of chickens had levels above 1,000 cfu/g compared to 3 percent in the past quarter.

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