The FSA published the first of its findings from a 1 year investigation into campylobacter on fresh chickens and the results were even more shocking than the early information we were given.
We reported on the 19th of this month that 59% of chicken in the UK had tested positive for campylobacter. This figure was based on preliminary results reported to the Guardian newspaper. The actual final figure reported by the FSA is 70%.
There has been widespread condemnation of the current state of affairs. In a follow up article on the Guardian website a leading UK food expert has called for a boycott of supermarket chicken.
So how is it that the chicken can be so infected? Basically, campylobacter can multiple to large numbers inside the hind gut of the chicken, it does not seem to cause them any major problems. Once the chicken gets to the slaughter house the campylobacter get spread to the outside of the carcasses.
Still, it’s not all bad news, campylobacter is not able to live for long outside of the host environment (unless it is protected by a biofilm), so if you clean your kitchen well, keep raw chicken away from cooked foods and most importantly, don’t wash you raw chicken or turkey in the kitchen sink you can go a long way to protect yourself and your family.