Poultry: Contamination

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 26 March 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell NATO Parliamentary Assembly UK Delegation, Co Chair, British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce the incidence of contaminated chicken being sold at supermarkets.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

There are comprehensive controls in place throughout the food chain to reduce the levels of contamination in chicken being sold in supermarkets and other locations. These controls include, for example, the national salmonella control programme for broiler chickens at all stages of production, which defines a range of measures to reduce the risk of Salmonella. The Food Standards Agency has also worked closely with industry on reducing Campylobacter contamination over a number of years. This has seen the highest contamination levels of Campylobacter fall from an average of 19% in 2014/15 to 5% in 2016/17 in surveys undertaken at retail level. Latest levels according to major retailers’ data show an average of 3.1% for October-December 2018.

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