Industry response: no need to ban sales of chicken
Calls for a ban on the sale of fresh chicken in New Zealand are a
knee jerk reaction to unsubstantiated comments says Michael Brooks, executive
director of the Poultry Industry Association (PIANZ).
New Zealand researchers Michael
Baker and Nick Wilson have made comments not supported by their own
findings, he says. The academics' report says "there is no conclusively
identified major cause of the increased Campylobacter incidence in New
Mr Brooks says New Zealanders know it is safe to eat properly
cooked chicken - after all chicken consumption has been going up every year and
last year they ate more than 37kg of it per person.
Reported rates of
Campylobacter are high in New Zealand by world standards, the PIANZ chief
agrees, but he points out farming methods and processing of poultry and the
proportion of fresh production to frozen here are very similar to other
"Consumption rates are similar too, so does New Zealand
have higher rates because of its stricter reporting regime, or are there also
other causes? " Mr Brooks asks.
"Michael Baker provides no
explanation from his three-year-old data as to why this difference arises, nor
does the report provide evidence that banning the sale of fresh chicken will aid
Meanwhile, the Food Safety Authority says decontamination
washes may be the answer to the high incidence of the bug campylobacter in
The authority's principal microbiologist, Roger Cook, says a
wash of chlorine and salt could rid poultry of campylobacter.
says the wash is used overseas and appears to deal with other bugs, although
there is a problem with discoloration of the meat.
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