The recent UK FSA’s meeting included a progress report on food safety, highlighting achievements as well as areas of concern, such as rising rates of Campylobacter in poultry.
A major issue at the UK Food Standards Agency’s meeting was foodbourne pathogens, including the latest figures on campylobacter in poultry flocks.
Campylobacter in chicken flocks
There are concerns that the Agency interventions in partnership with the poultry industry may not deliver the strategic plan targets of 50% reductions in campylobacter in poultry.
A separate paper will be presented to the Board meeting concerning this disease in chickens. It is noted that although there has been a reduction in contamination levels in chicken at retail, there is currently a high prevalence in flocks.
The agency is presently gathering evidence for new interventions to try and accelerate the rate of reduction.
Poultry slaughterhouse hygiene
The development of a new tool to measure slaughterhouse hygiene, originally aimed at providing a tool for slaughterhouse operators to identify what they could do better to reduce contamination by human pathogens, has taken longer than expected.
The agency now says it hopes to develop a new way of measuring slaughterhouse hygiene by the end of 2009. This is aimed at helping operators identify effective controls and inform the negotiation of more risk-based EU meat hygiene Regulations.