FSA chicken campaign falling on deaf ears, says The Grocer

Most people in the UK are still ignorant of the dangers of campylobacter in chicken despite campaigns to highlight risks, says a new report.

Fewer than one in three have even heard of the country’s biggest cause of food poisoning.

The Grocer found that just 32 per cent of UK consumers have heard of campylobacter germs and many are unaware of basic hygiene measures to protect themselves.

Although over 70 per cent of people surveyed correctly identified chicken as the main source of food poisoning and most know it should be thoroughly cooked, 32 per cent of young people believe washing raw chicken before cooking is a good way to avoid poisoning – the opposite of Food Standards Agency advice.

Lucia Juliano, of Harris Interactive, which polled 2,000 people for the trade magazine, noted: ‘Only 55 per cent of Londoners and 51 per cent of under-25s mentioned chicken as the main source of food poisoning, indicating education among these two groups needs to be ramped up.’

Richard Griffiths, of the British Poultry Council, said: ‘It is clear more work needs to be done to reinforce good habits.’

The Food Standards Agency found that up to 79 per cent of raw birds on sale are contaminated with campylobacter. Levels are dangerously high in 19 per cent of chickens and the agency has demanded this figure should be below 10 per cent by year’s end.

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