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Tesco on target for reducing Campylobacter levels

16 November 2015  •  Author(s): Victoria White

Tesco has released new data which shows that it is delivering on its commitment to further reduce the levels of Campylobacter in its fresh chicken.


Throughout 2014/15 the retailer performed well in the Food Standards Agency (FSA) year- long survey, which monitored the levels of bacteria in poultry, and was the only major supermarket to consistently have significantly lower levels of Campylobacter in its chicken compared to the industry average.

Last summer, Tesco pledged to continue to work in partnership with suppliers in order to meet a new industry leading target, set by the retailer, of at least 95% of chickens to have minimal levels of Campylobacter by 2017.

New data compiled by Tesco has found that chicken which contain Campylobacter at the highest level has fallen to less than 9% in the third quarter this year, compared with 15%recorded by the FSA for the same period in 2014. Meaning that in the last year, the retailer has driven levels of the bacteria down to below the current FSA target of 10% and are close to meeting its 2017 goal.

Tesco has introduced leak-proof packaging for raw poultry

Tesco’s Group Quality Director Tim Smith said: “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.”

Interventions that Tesco has introduced to help shoppers keep safe include being one of the first retailers use robust leak-proof packaging for all raw poultry, which also contains customer information on safe food handling and cooking instructions. In addition, store colleagues are trained to look out for and remove any damaged packs from shelves.

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