Joint Working Group on Campylobacter

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.

The membership has recently expanded and now includes the British Poultry Council (BPC), the National Farmers' Union (NFU) the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the FSA and Defra.

Members meet on a quarterly basis. The minutes of the meetings can be found at the links below.

The Joint Action Plan

The Agency is working in partnership with industry and Defra to identify and put in place interventions that will reduce campylobacter through a Joint Action Plan. The action plan will be implemented through the Joint Working Group on Campylobacter.

The key activities of the action plan relate to:

On-farm trials/interventions

  • implementation of revised poultry standards from April 2011
  • investigate efficacy of biosecurity interventions – hygiene barriers, fly screens and water treatments
  • review rapid on-farm campylobacter test
  • investigate motivational drivers of biosecurity compliance

Transport trials/interventions

  • investigate/trial crate washing, improved crate drying, and novel crate and module disinfection methods

Processing trials/interventions

  • investigate lactic acid wash in turkey and chicken processing
  • trial electrolysed water sprays washes in slaughterhouse

Retail trials/interventions/consumer behaviour

  • trial leak-proof packaging for chicken products
  • investigate the impact of modified atmosphere packaging techniques
  • consumer education
  • research to understand consumers attitudes to potential interventions and consumer behaviour
  • review on-pack best practice instructions on storage, handling, preparation and cooking for consumers on chicken products

Catering sector

  • address the issue of undercooked liver pâté and parfait
  • develop a best practice compliance toolkit and refresher education programme via Safer Food, Better Business programme

Surveillance and monitoring

  • industry harmonised monitoring, FSA independent monitoring, and periodic surveys of campylobacter contamination of raw chicken at retail level

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