Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. It was responsible for more than 371,000 estimated cases in England and Wales in 2009, resulting in more than 17,500 hospitalisations and 88 deaths. Campylobacter accounts for a third of the cost of the burden of foodborne illness in England and Wales, estimated at more than £583m in 2008.
Campylobacter is found mainly in poultry but also in red meat, unpasteurised milk and untreated water.
The risk management programme
A campylobacter risk management programme has been developed to reduce levels of campylobacter in chicken. The programme encompasses a range of projects targeted at different points across the food chain, from farm to fork.
The Agency is working in partnership with the industry and Defra as part of a Joint Working Group on campylobacter. The working group is developing a Joint Action Plan, which will help identify and implement interventions that will reduce campylobacter. To contribute to this work the Agency is also funding new research in collaboration with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Defra, the Northern Ireland Department for Agriculture and Rural Development and the Scottish Government, the research forms part of a joint strategy entitled: UK Research and Innovation Strategy for Campylobacter in the food chain. More about the working group, the action plan and the Agency’s research on campylobacter can be found at the links at the bottom of the page.
To measure progress on the effectiveness of the risk management programme a joint government and industry target to ‘reduce campylobacter in UK produced chickens by 2015’ has been set.
The campylobacter target
The Food Standards Agency, Defra, the UK poultry industry, and major retailers have agreed a new target that will measure efforts to reduce the levels of the food bug campylobacter in chickens.
There are three categories of contamination levels and, currently, 27% of birds are in the highest category.
The new target is for the industry to reduce the numbers of these most contaminated birds in UK poultry houses from 27% to 10% by 2015.
It is estimated that achievement of this target could mean a reduction in campylobacter food poisoning of up to 30% – about 111,000 cases per year.
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Wednesday 13 April 2011
Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. It was responsible for more than 371,000 estimated cases in England and Wales in 2009, resulting in more than 17,500 hospitalisations and 88 deaths. Campylobacter accounts for a third of the cost of the burden of foodborne illness in England and Wales, estimated at £583m in 2008.
Monday 20 December 2010
The national citizens’ forums held by the Food Standards Agency, gave an insight into the views and understanding consumers have of campylobacter; in particular, which interventions would be most acceptable to consumers and to what extent they are desirable.
Thursday 14 April 2011
The Joint Working Group on Campylobacter was established in August 2009 as a joint industry and government group. It aims to identify interventions that would reduce campylobacter in chicken.