martes, 13 de enero de 2015

EFSA calls for Campylobacter action

Reduction of Campylobacter continues to be retailers’ top priority
EFSA has called on UK supermarkets to publish an action plan on Campylobacter by the end of the month. The consumer watchdog has written to seven supermarkets calling on them to make plans publicly available on how they will tackle Campylobacter, with clear timescales for action.
The group said it is almost six weeks since Food Standards Agency (FSA) data showed high levels of Campylobacter in chicken.
Six weeks on from the revelation of scandalously high levels of Campylobacter in chicken, the supermarkets still haven’t told consumers how they will tackle this potentially fatal bug. People need reassurance that supermarkets are doing everything they can to make chicken safe. The retailers must publish their plans andcommit to action now.
FSA survey results: The FSA results found 70% of chickens sold in UK supermarkets tested positive for Campylobacter. The survey revealed 18% tested positive above the highest level of contamination – more than 1,000 colony forming units per gram (>1,000 CFU/g).
Supermarket Asda was the worst performing with 78% of skin samples positive out of 312 samples. Testing also revealed 28% of skin samples higher than 1,000 CFU/g and 12% of pack samples positive. Tesco had the lowest rate of samples testing positive with 64% of the 607 samples, 11% above the highest level of contamination and 3% of pack samples contaminated.
The consumer watchdog said its latest research found six in 10 consumers expressed concern about high levels of Campylobacter in supermarket chickens, with three quarters saying they were too high. More than half thought there wasn’t enough information available about Campylobacter levels in chicken, it added.
 The calling for every major supermarket to publish a plan of action by the end of January and to make this publicly available and published on your website, with a timeframe for taking action. The plan should be an integrated program of both immediate and planned interventions along the food chain (from incentivizing farmers to improve controls through to use of blast surface chilling, for example) targeted at reducing levels of Campylobacter as quickly as feasible”
Retailers, farmers and processors have been working with the FSA and DEFRA for many years as part of the joint government and industry Campylobacter Working Group and millions have been invested into researching solutions for eradicating the bacteria.
Reduction of Campylobacter continues to be retailers’ top priority for food safety and we have introduced a number of customer-focused solutions to aid understanding of the risks and minimize cross contamination,” he said. This includes use of leak proof and oven ready packaging as well as safe handling information on labels, websites and in store magazines.

Source: Food Quality

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