UK – UK supermarket chains Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Morrisons have recorded an increased level of Campylobacter contamination in their chicken compared to the first quarter of the year.

This is according to data collected from January to March 2022 for nine retailers on high levels of Campylobacter in fresh, shop-bought, UK-produced chickens.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has set the maximum level for campylobacter as 7 percent of birds with more than 1,000 colony forming units per gram (CFU/g) of Campylobacter.

Tesco had 3 percent of 302 samples above 1,000 CFU/g in the first quarter of 2022 compared to 2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Sainsbury’s Campylobacter results for the first quarter of 2022 showed that 5 percent of chickens had levels about 1,000 cfu/g compared to 3 percent in the past quarter, as reported by Food Safety News.

Aldi on the other hand revealed that 4.2 percent of chickens sampled were in the above 1,000 CFU/g category compared to 3.3 percent in the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, Morrisons had almost 6 percent of chickens at the top contaminated level from 101 birds tested compared to 4 percent of 123 samples in the final quarter of 2021.

Lidl and Asda however recorded lower levels of contamination compared to the previous quarter.

Lidl recorded 2 percent of birds in the highest category which is down from 6 percent in the previous quarter, while Asda informed that 1 percent tested positive for the highest level of contamination in the latest quarter, compared to 2 percent in the previous three months.

Figures for Waitrose and Co-op were at a constant with Waitrose and Partners recording positive results for 1% of chickens above the threshold level for the second successive quarter.

“The key to our good results continues to be the incredible hard work of our farmers and suppliers combined with our own rigorous data gathering and analysis, surveying chicken both at the factory and on supermarket shelves,” a Waitrose and Partners spokesperson had previously commented during the 2022 first quarter.

Co-op results for the second quarter running showed no chickens were contaminated at levels greater than 1,000 CFU/g.

According to results from the 376 chickens sampled for Marks and Spencer, 4 percent were in the maximum category in January, 3 percent in February and 10 percent in March.

Last year in October, 5 percent of chickens were above 1,000 CFU/g, 8 percent in November 2021 and 5 percent in December 2021 from the same amount of poultry tested.

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