The FSA has published the Year 4 report for the UK retail chicken survey which took place between August 2017 and July 2018. Samples were collected every quarter but after the first quarter only minor retailers were tested. The UK’s top nine retailers have carried out their own sampling since September 2017.
The report found that high level campylobacter contamination in UK chickens has decreased considerably, but remains high in smaller retailers, independents and butchers.
Rebecca Sudworth, Director of Policy at the Food Standards Agency, said:
'Retailers have achieved significant reductions in levels of campylobacter contamination since the retail chicken survey began in 2014. The FSA will continue to engage with industry and particularly smaller retailers, butchers and independents to build on this progress.'
Chicken is safe as long as you follow good hygiene and cooking practices:
- cover raw chicken and store at the bottom of the fridge so juices cannot drip onto other foods and contaminate them with food poisoning bacteria such as campylobacter
- don’t wash raw chicken - thorough cooking will kill any bacteria present, including campylobacter, while washing chicken can spread germs by splashing
- thoroughly wash and clean all utensils, chopping boards and surfaces used to prepare raw chicken
- wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water, after handling raw chicken - this helps stop the spread of campylobacter by avoiding cross-contamination
- make sure chicken is cooked thoroughly and steaming hot all the way through before serving. Cut into the thickest part of the meat and check that it is steaming hot with no pink meat and that the juices run clear