Campylobacter: no fresh chicken sales, frozen only
The Public Health Association (PHA) is supporting calls from
University of Otago public health researchers for New Zealand to seriously
consider banning the sale of fresh chicken for human consumption, and switch to
frozen chicken instead.
Dr Gay Keating says such a move may be the best way to start reducing the
country's serious campylobacter epidemic.
Dr Keating says that while removing fresh chicken from sale sounds like a
drastic measure, it might be necessary if we are to address New Zealand's
dubious distinction of being the campylobacter centre of the world.
"The current advice is to cook chicken thoroughly and wash benches, knives,
cloths and hands in very hot water with detergent. But that is the advice that
has been put forward for decades, and it has not prevented New Zealand from
becoming top of the pops in campylobacter. It's clear that current recommended
practices for handling chicken are far from being enough, so we need to try
"We know that New Zealand's fresh chicken is heavily contaminated. It's time
to start to look at how to reduce the contamination in the first place - such as
a possible ban on the sale of fresh chicken." She says other measures used
overseas include reducing contamination levels in poultry flocks.
Dr Keating called upon the poultry industry, regulators, scientists and
consumer organisations to discuss the science and scale of the problem, and how
it could be addressed without further delays.
Consumer concerns about campylobacter were also high on the agenda at a
meeting of the Poultry Industry
Association of New Zealand (PIANZ) this week. The PIANZ board gathered in
Auckland, New Zealand, to hear the latest international developments on
See the original
news report on campylobacter in New Zealand.
See the original
news item where researchers recommended a ban of fresh chicken sales.
See the industry
response to the call for a ban on fresh chicken sales.
See a news
report showing consumer support for poultry meat is still high.
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