UK Launches Campylobacter Education Campaign
From Food Safety News
To kick off Food Safety Week on Monday, Britain’s Food Standards Agency launched a campaign to educate consumers about Campylobacter and particularly to get consumers to stop washing raw chicken in order to reduce the risk of infection.
The call comes as new figures show that 44 percent of people always wash chicken before cooking it — a practice that can spread Campylobacter bacteria onto hands, work surfaces, clothing and cooking equipment through the splashing of water droplets.
Campylobacter is the most common form of food poisoning in the UK, affecting an estimated 280,000 people a year. Around four in five of these cases come from contaminated poultry.
A survey commissioned by FSA found that levels of awareness about Campylobacter are well below that of other forms of food poisoning. The data showed that more than 90 percent of the public have heard of Salmonella and E. coli, but only 28 percent know about Campylobacter. And, of the people who have heard of Campylobacter, only about a third of them know that poultry is the main source of the bacteria.
The agency’s campaign deals with the whole food chain, working with farmers and producers to reduce rates of Campylobacter in flocks of broiler chickens and ensuring that slaughterhouses and processors are taking steps to minimize the levels of contamination in birds.