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Supermarkets with the most Campylobacter infected chickens will be named and shamed next week

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 20 November 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7008
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

A Food Standards Agency report due to be published next week will show which fresh supermarket chickens are most likely to be infected with Campylobacter, and Public Health England hopes that this will urge the major supermarket chains to pressure their suppliers to bring down infection rates.

Public Health England was contracted by the Food Standards Agency to measure Campylobacter contamination in fresh raw chickens sold by UK supermarkets and butchers over a 12 month period. The first results, which were published in August, showed that the contamination rate was around 60%, but they did not break this down by retailer. The next set of quarterly results will do so, and it is expected to show higher infection rates.

Frieda Jorgensen, of Public Health England’s food, water, and environmental laboratory, told a press briefing in London on 18 November, “We know more chicken stocks tend to be Campylobacter positive in the summer, [so] it is highly likely that the contamination rate for retail chickens will be higher for …

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