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Monitoring of Campylobacters in UK Poultry Carcasses and Collection of Information from Primary Production and Processing for Risk Factor Elucidation

Institutions
Hutchison Scientific Services, Ltd
Start date
2011
End date
2013
Objective

This study aims to collect UK poultry processing industry campylobacter test results data and investigate how to utilise these data to monitor progress against the voluntary target agreed with industry including assessing any implications for using three pooled neck skins from three birds as the test matrix for campylobacter as compared with neck skins and breast skin from a single bird. The quality of the test data using applied statistical methodologies will also be assessed and support will be provided, where required, for laboratories to improve performance.

At least four sets of quality assurance determinations using standardised test samples of increasing complexity will be undertaken. Previous Agency-funded work using campylobacters on neck skins indicate that pipetting and stomaching are two aspects of testing that contribute disproportionately towards larger measurement errors. Selecting samples that require increasing amounts of processing (e.g. more pipetting, vortexing or stomaching) can provide clues that point to any disproportionately large sources of uncertainty when compared with previous measurements.

Information will also be gathered that describes processing and other practices (e.g. overnight cleaning regimes) in chicken broiler slaughterhouses. Using multivariate analysis, this information will be used to identify those processing practices, if any, that have an influence on campylobacter numbers on post-chill broiler carcasses in UK plants. This will be achieved by developing a system based on the chicken broiler slaughterhouse assessment tool questions available from the Agency's slaughterhouse hygiene tool (project FS241018).

More information

Background: The FSA in collaboration with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the British Poultry Council, the National Farmers Union and the British Retail Consortium, has agreed a voluntary target for the reduction in the levels of campylobacter in UK produced raw chicken to be achieved in a phased approach by April 2015.

This target will be measured as a reduction from a baseline level of 27% of highly contaminated batches in 2008 to 19% by 2013 and to 10% by 2015. The Agency and industry will need to assess progress towards the target. Industry has put in place an on-going voluntary monitoring programme that could be utilised for this purpose.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project source
View this project
Project number
FS241051A
Categories
Campylobacter
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication
Commodities
Meat, Poultry, Game