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A UK-Wide Microbiological Survey of Campylobacter and Salmonella Contamination in Raw Chicken at Retail Sale

Institutions
Central Science Laboratory
Start date
2007
End date
2008
Objective
The primary objective of the survey is to determine the prevalence of campylobacter in raw chicken sold at UK retail outlets.

We also want to identify campylobacter species, serotypes and phage types present and determine susceptibility of isolates to antimicrobial agents.

Finally, we want to monitor salmonella prevalence to ensure that low levels have been maintained and to determine if new serotypes are emerging.

More information
Area of work:
The Food Standards Agency is launching a survey to gather information on the prevalence of campylobacter and salmonella present on the surface of raw chilled fresh and frozen fresh chicken on sale in the UK. The survey will measure the presence or absence of the micro-organism on the surface of the chicken and will enable the FSA to monitor progress towards its 2010 target of reducing campylobacter infection in chickens by 50%. The presence of salmonella is being measured to ensure that the low levels established in a survey conducted by the FSA in 2001 are being maintained.

This is a random survey. Samples are to be taken throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which will give a representative picture of the prevalence of these two organisms on chicken in the UK. Information on a wide range of factors including retailer type, country of origin and production types will also be recorded.

Only unseasoned, chilled and frozen, whole and portioned chicken will be sampled, including leg, breast, thigh and wing portions. Processed chicken preparations including goujons, ready basted, marinated, herbed, stuffed or pre-prepared and cooked chickens are not to be included.

The number of samples taken should enable comparisons to be made between whole and portioned chicken and chilled and frozen chicken. The sample numbers for extensive flocks have also been boosted to enable an accurate prevalence to be established.

This is a 15-month survey, which began in May 2007.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
B18025
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Commodities
Meat, Poultry, Game