We have today written to the seven major supermarkets calling on them to make publicly available plans on how they will tackle Campylobacter, with clear timescales for action. Read our letter from Richard Lloyd:
Dear Chief executive,
It is now almost six weeks since the Food Standards Agency released data showing scandalously high levels of Campylobacter in chicken. Consumers need reassurance that supermarkets are taking this seriously and doing all they can to address the problem.
Nearly 30,000 people have signed up to support our campaign to ‘Make Chicken Safe’. Our latest research found six in ten consumers expressed concern about the high levels of Campylobacter found in supermarket chickens, with three-quarters saying they thought they were too high. More than half thought there wasn’t enough information available about Campylobacter levels in chicken.
While we welcome the progress made so far, we urge you to take a more visible and coordinated industry wide approach so that consumers can be confident that everything possible is being done to tackle this potentially fatal bug. We have previously been in touch with your teams and are calling for every major supermarket to publish a plan of action by the end of January and to make this publicly available and published on your website, with a timeframe for taking action.
The plan should be an integrated programme of both immediate and planned interventions along the food chain (from incentivising farmers to improve controls through to use of blast surface chilling, for example) targeted at reducing levels of Campylobacter as quickly as feasible.
We would like to secure your public support in showing consumers that you are committed to tackling this problem and look forward to hearing how you propose to take this matter forward.
Richard Lloyd, Executive Director