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A microbiological survey of campylobacter contamination in fresh whole UK-produced chilled chickens at retail sale (Y2/3/4)


<p>"This new survey will extend the year 1 survey for up to an additional 36 months, including yearly breakpoints, and will investigate the prevalence and levels of campylobacter contamination in fresh whole chilled chickens and on the outside surface of the packaging at retail using the enumeration method, and will provide valuable information on campylobacter levels post slaughter. Although the survey will take into consideration seasonal fluctuations in campylobacter prevalence in retail chickens, this is secondary to the surveys primary function to analyse prevalence among retailers. To draw any definitive conclusions regarding seasonality, we will require data from a number of separate years. The continuation of the retail survey for up to another 36 months additionally intends to identify trends as a result of specific retailer initiatives, such as improvements in biosecurity on farm or processing interventions. Objectives To determine the prevalence and levels of Campylobacter spp. contamination on fresh whole chilled chickens produced in the UK and sold at UK retail outlets by sampling up to a 36 month period, including annual breakpoints. To determine the prevalence and levels of Campylobacter spp. contamination found on the outside packaging of samples collected under objective 1. To identify Campylobacter spp. present and determine susceptibility of an agreed percentage of isolates to a defined range of antimicrobial agents. To collect information from each sample on a range of factors including bird weight, rearing method and type of packaging and determine any correlation with campylobacter contamination. In total, 4,000 fresh, UK-produced chickens will be sampled per 12-month period. These samples will be taken evenly over a 12-month period unless agreed otherwise. Chickens will be sampled from each UK country proportionally to its retailer market share figures. The survey results will be published under the Code of Practice for Official Statistics on a quarterly basis. This entails restricted access to raw data and pre-release publication documents. At the end of the survey, the results and all the information that has been collected about all of the samples taken for the whole survey period will be published on the Agency’s website."</p>

Public Health England
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