Tesco on course for campylobacter reduction target
Published:  16 November, 2015

Supermarket chain Tesco has revealed it has driven down campylobacter at the highest level in its fresh chickens to less than 9%.

This means it is on track to meet a pledge to drop the highest level of campylobacter to just 5% in 2017.

The new data compiled by Tesco showed a significant drop compared to the 15% recorded by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) for the same period in 2014.  

This also means the retailer has driven levels of the bacteria down to below the current FSA target of 10%.

Tesco’s group quality director Tim Smith said: “It has long been our commitment to reduce levels of campylobacter in our poultry and we are now seeing real progress at all stages of the supply chain, in tackling the issue through the work we have done with our suppliers.

“With over 91% of our chicken now testing negative for the highest levels of campylobacter, we are clearly demonstrating our commitment to tackle the issue and how we want to remain at the forefront of any developments to improve the quality and safety of our chicken. It is also testament to the hard work of our suppliers to tackle the issue.”

FSA director of policy Steve Wearne welcomed the news: “It is very good to see the company’s commitment to reducing campylobacter showing positive results and I’m pleased that Tesco is determined now and in the future to reduce the levels of this bug on chicken.”

The retailer has used leak-proof packaging for all raw poultry, which also contains customer information on safe food handling and cooking instructions. It also provides information on its Tesco Real Food Website while store colleagues are trained to remove any damaged packs from shelves.