a year of testing store-bought chicken in the United Kingdom for Campylobacter, the Food Standards Agency there has published the results — and they’re pretty dismal. More than 4,000 samples of fresh whole chilled chickens and packaging were collected between February 2014 and February 2015, and 73 percent of the chickens tested positive for the presence of Campylobacter. Nineteen percent of chickens tested above the highest category of contamination levels (more than 1,000 colony-forming units per gram), while 7 percent of packages also tested positive for Campylobacter. Campylobacter is a foodborne bacteria largely associated with chicken which causes diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping. It’s also the biggest cause of food poisoning in the U.K. In breaking down contamination rates by retailer, FSA found that none had met the target for reducing Campylobacter. Asda had the highest rate of Campylobacter contamination at 80 percent of chicken samples, as well as the most samples (30 percent) with more than 1,000 colony-forming units per gram. Tesco was the only main retailer with a lower rate of chicken contamination at the highest level compared to the industry average.

Retailer Skin samples positive for Campylobacter Skin samples with high level Campylobacter Pack samples positive for Campylobacter
Asda 80.4% 29.7% 12.4%
Co-op 78.1% 19.1% 4.9%
M&S 67.1% 17.4% 2.9%
Morrisons 75.8% 22.0% 11.2%
Sainsbury’s 69.7% 16.4% 4.9%
Tesco 66.5% 12.8% 4.0%
Waitrose 73.8% 18.4% 9.7%
Others 76.8% 23.9% 6.7%
Total 72.8% 19.4% 6.7%

  Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, the Co-op and Waitrose each published case studies to show the results of their recently implemented campylobacter reduction plans. According to FSA, the retailers’ data “show significant decreases in the incidence of campylobacter on their raw whole chickens.” FSA said that its full analysis of the survey results, including the publication of the raw data and the full year results for smaller supermarkets and shops, will be published later in the summer. The agency plans to start a new survey this summer to measure the impact of the interventions now being introduced by industry.

  • anthony samsel

    This is not a surprise. When you feed chickens, grain laden with glyphosate, this is the result. Glyphosate wipes out immune function, simply put, it disrupts bacterial homeostasis. Chickens that eat a diet containing the antibiotic Glyphosate are deficient in L. acidophilus, L. fermentum, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium longum. These bacteria maintain an acidic pH which keep Campylobacter in check and under control. Wiping out bacterial homeostasis predisposes them to the development of campylobacteriosis. How, many useless people does it take to staff the USDA, FDA and other government agencies who should know this fact ? When will they learn that they must remove glyphosate from the food supply ……There should not be any herbicides in the food supply. Banning glyphosate and substituting some other herbicide is not the solution.

    As long as we have Federal agencies run by corporate morons, we will continue down the road to the extinction of the species …..

    • DocB

      I think you have your wires crossed. Glyphosate is not an antibiotic, it is a herbicide. There is little evidence that herbicides affect bacteria. There is strong evidence that raising large numbers of animals in small areas promotes disease. I am not a proponent of banning factory farms because this is simply the only way to feed the growing world population. Simple numbers, more people, more food needed. This is why the talk of banning GMOs, growing organics and getting rid of herbicides is moot, this is where the money is. There is a small number of vocal foodies and a huge number of folks just trying to keep there kids from going to bed hungry. Millions of children eat no more than 1 meal a day in our country alone. I’ve sat there watching people eat while my stomach growled, it’s not a good way to live. Sorry, to stay on my soap box so long.