Retailers make commitment in campylobacter transparency
Published:  21 September, 2017

Nine of the top retailers have made a commitment to publish their own results on campylobacter on consumer websites.

This follows industry discussions led by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on making results more transparent.

Under the new agreement, sampling and analyses carried out by the supermarkets will be in accordance with protocols set out by the FSA and will be published online, meaning they can also compare to counterparts.

The FSA will be able to access the raw data from each of the retailers, allowing the agency to verify samples and determine industry averages. Each retailer has committed in writing to follow the protocol.

As a result of the agreement, the involved retailer will no longer be required to take part in the agency’s annual campylobacter survey.

“In light of the significant progress made by the major retailers and producers in taking action to reduce campylobacter levels in their chicken, our strategy is now to focus on smaller establishments, where we feel further improvements could be made,” read a statement from the FSA.

“The increased focus on these suppliers will allow the improvements made by the larger chains to be extended across the whole supply chain. The focus for the fourth year of the retail survey will therefore be on smaller retailers, independent traders and market stalls, as these are more likely to be supplied by smaller processors.”

Moving forward, the FSA’s focus will be on ensuring that smaller processors follow in the footsteps of the bigger chains. While it was highlighted that these plants own a smaller share of the market, many supply into catering and local retailers.

The FSA added: “We remain committed to reducing the levels of campylobacter on all UK-produced chickens, and we will be monitoring the larger retailers’ results very closely to ensure they continue to show action is being taken to tackle campylobacter.”