Which? Calls On Supermarkets To Tackle Campylobacter

Consumer Group Demands Public Information On Retailers' Strategies

13.01.2015

Consumer group Which? has said that supermarkets should commit to a co-ordinated approach to tackling the potentially deadly food poisoning bug campylobacter.

The organisation has written to seven of the UK's biggest supermarkets urging them to make public their strategies for dealing with the bacteria.

Which? has also started a campaign to improve food safety standards in chicken, which so far has nearly 30,000 signatures. Some 60% of consumers said they were concerned about high levels of campylobacter in supermarket chickens and more than half of respondents thought there was not enough information about levels of the bacteria in supermarket chicken.

Richard Lloyd, Which? Executive Director, stated in his letter to the Chief Executives of the supermarkets that "it is now almost six weeks since the Food Standards Agency released data showing scandalously high levels of campylobacter in chicken. Consumers need reassurances that supermarkets are taking this seriously and doing all they can to address the problem".

Expert Opinion
The original report compiled by the Food Standards Agency was concerning around how campylobacter is dealt with by leading retailers in the UK. Through our work, Irwin Mitchell have recovered compensation for tens of thousands of illness victims in the UK and abroad and have seen numerous cases where campylobacter has caused individuals to developed severe short-term illnesses and others where sufferers have been left with long-term health problems due to the bacteria.

"Consumers place huge faith in food manufacturers and retailers when it comes to ensuring the products they purchase are fit for consumption and it is vital that more stringent guidance and food hygiene is implemented and followed, as the report indicates current measures are insufficient.

"The importance of addressing the issue of campylobacter in chickens should not be downplayed and consumers clearly want more information, as well as action to be taken to remove the risk of coming into contact with the bacteria.”
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner