Campylobacter contamination in fresh whole chilled UK- produced ch ickens at retail : January – March 2016

For full report see HERE
Based on our current methodology for assessing the levels of Campylobacter on chickens at retail, the proportion of chickens with a high level of Campylobacter (over 1000 cfu /g) has consistently been significantly lower during the Year 2 survey, than for the same time the previous year. This is also the case for the proportion of chickens positive for Campylobacter. However the increasing trimming of chicken neck skins by the industry (while being a welcome development, as the neck skin is thought to generally be the most contaminated part of the chicken carcass) means that the current measure may have ceased to be a reliable measure of how the extent of Campylobacter contamination in chickens at retail is changing over time. Our measure of Campylobacter contamination on the outer packaging of chickens at retail is not affected by this issue and we believe that it remains robust. Looking at the period for which there is data for both the Year 1 and Year 2 on which to base year on year comparisons, there was a statistically significant reduction in the percentage of chicken packaging samples positive for Campylobacter from 7. 5% in Jul 14 – Feb 15 to 5.6 % in Jul 15 – Feb 16.

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