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Retail

Tesco Delivers On Commitment To Reduce Campylobacter In Chicken

British supermarket chain Tesco has released new data which shows that the retailer is delivering on its commitment to further reduce the levels of campylobacter in its fresh chicken.

The retailer performed well in the Food Standards Agency (FSA) survey in 2014/2015, which monitored the levels of bacteria in poultry, and significantly lowered the levels of campylobacter in its chicken.

Last summer, Tesco pledged to continue to work in partnership with suppliers in order to meet a new industry leading target, set by the retailer, of at least 95 per cent of chickens to have minimal levels of campylobacter by 2017.

New data from the retailer has revealed that significant progress has been made in recent months, with figures showing that chicken which contains campylobacter at the highest level has fallen to less than 9 per cent in the third quarter this year, compared with 15 per cent recorded by the FSA for the same period in 2014; in the last year, the retailer has driven levels of the bacteria down to below the current FSA target of 10 per cent and are close to meeting its 2017 goal.

Speaking on the data, Tim Smith, group quality director at Teaco, said, "Providing high quality and safe food for our customers is always our absolute priority. It has long been our commitment to reduce levels of campylobacter in our poultry and we are now seeing real progress at all stages of the supply chain, in tackling the issue through the work we have done with our suppliers."

He continued, "With over 91 per cent of our chicken now testing negative for the highest levels of campylobacter, we are clearly demonstrating our commitment to tackle the issue and how we want to remain at the forefront of any developments to improve the quality and safety of our chicken. It is also testament to the hard work of our suppliers to tackle the issue."

Steve Wearne, director of policy at the Food Safety Authority, welcomed the news from Tesco. "It is very good to see the company's commitment to reducing campylobacter showing positive results and I'm pleased that Tesco is determined now and in the future to reduce the levels of this bug on chicken."

2015 ESM - European Supermarket Magazine - your source for retail news. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.

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