Lidl’s Campylobacter in chicken yields results above FSA target

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Lidl has reported Campylobacter levels in chicken above the FSA target for the second quarter of 2022.

The supermarket chain recorded 8% birds in the highest category, compared to 2% in the previous quarter and 6% in the previous period.

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

The data from the nine retailers covers the period from April to June 2022 on high Campylobacter findings in fresh, store-bought and UK-produced chicken.

Results at Lidl and Asda rose while Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Waitrose and Aldi recorded lower levels of contamination compared to the previous quarter. The figures for Tesco and Co-op remained the same.

Asda informed that 2.4% tested positive for the highest level of contamination in the last quarter, compared to 1% in the previous three months.

Campylobacter is the most common cause of bacterial food poisoning in the UK and the dose needed to make people sick can be as low as a few hundred cells.

Lower or stable results

Sainsbury’s Campylobacter results for the second quarter of 2022 showed 3% of chickens had levels around 1,000 CFU/g, up from 5% in the last quarter.

For Marks and Spencer, 1% were in the maximum category in April, 4% in May and 3% in June out of 376 chickens sampled.

In January 2022, 4% of chickens were above 1000 CFU/g, 3% in February and 10% in March for the same quantity of poultry tested.

For Tesco, 3% of 298 samples were above 1,000 CFU/g in Q2 2022, which was the same as the previous three months.

Aldi revealed that 3.3% of chickens sampled were in the over 1,000 CFU/g category, up from 4.2% in the previous quarter.

Morrisons had 1.6% of chickens at the most contaminated level out of 101 birds tested, up from nearly 6% across the same number of samples in the first quarter of 2022.

Waitrose and Partners had no chickens testing positive for Campylobacter at levels above 1,000 CFU/g, down from 1% in the previous quarter.

The cooperative’s results for the third consecutive quarter showed that no chickens were contaminated at levels above 1,000 CFU/g.

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