The Guardian online have just published an investigation which they say uncovers a “catalogue of alleged hygiene failings in the poultry industry”. The article with accompanying video suggests that two thirds of fresh chicken on sale in the UK are contaminated with the food poisoning bug, Campylobacter. It goes on to say that, following their investigation, three of the UK’s leading supermarkets have launched emergency investigations into their chicken supplies.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have reportedly decided to shelve a promise to name and shame supermarkets and processors for their campylobacter rates, a move prompted by “push-back” from industry and interventions from government departments.
The Guardian’s investigation shows the murky depths plunged by chicken factory farming and the risks posed to human health.
I call on the UK Government to take urgent action to tackle this serious public health risk and to recognise that allowing chickens to be crammed into stressful intensive sheds is likely to lower their immune system and worsen problems with disease.
The horsemeat scandal had a dramatic effect on consumer confidence in the food chain. The decision by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to shelve plans to publish rates of food poisoning contamination again calls into question the Government’s commitment to transparency as part of fixing the broken food system.