A Government food agency is launching a new initiative to try to reduce food poisoning from chicken.
Members of the Food Standard Agency will meet next week to explain their new strategy against campylobacter, which is considered to be responsible for about 460,000 cases of food poisoning, 22,000 hospitalisations and 110 deaths each year.
A big proportion of these cases are caused by poultry and an FSA survey of chicken on sale in the UK (2007/8) indicated that 65 per cent of chicken on sale in shops was contaminated with the bug.
The new strategy covers the rearing, slaughter, packaging and sale of poultry and proposes that those involved receive more information about the risks in chilled chicken, hinting that tougher regulations are in the offing.
FSA chief executive Catherine Brown said: 'What we have proposed in this paper is a shift in culture and a refocusing of effort by both the Government and the food industry to tackle this persistent and serious problem."