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


A UK-wide survey was undertaken to determine the levels of Campylobacter spp. on whole fresh retail chickens. This report represents results from sampling and testing chickens in the third survey year under FSA Project FS102121 (2016/2017). A total of 4268 samples of whole, UK-produced, fresh chicken were tested between August 2016 to July 2017. The samples were distributed throughout the UK (in proportion to the population size of each country) and testing was performed by four laboratory sites; three Public Health England (PHE) laboratories and one laboratory in Northern Ireland (Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute, Belfast). Retailers were sampled evenly with their share of free-range and organic chickens taken into account. Campylobacter enumeration testing on chicken samples was performed using the EN/TS/ISO 10272-2 standard enumeration method applied with a detection limit of 10 colony forming units (cfu) per gram of neck skin.

Public Health England
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