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News and analysis on the global poultry
and animal feed industries.
Poultry Processing & Slaughter
on December 1, 2014

UK consumers should boycott supermarket chicken, says food expert

Professor Tim Lang calls Campylobacter contamination “scandalous”

Prompted by the U.K. Food Standards Agency’s publication of Campylobacter contamination levels of supermarket chicken, Professor Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University and adviser to successive U.K. governments has suggested that consumers stop buying chicken from supermarkets.

“I would suggest that we refuse to buy poultry until this is sorted out. This is a public health scandal easily on a par to that of the 1980s-1990s,” he said.

Since the FSA statistics were published, social media has seen its fair share of comments blaming industrial production and capitalism for producing “dirty” chicken, with some commentators feeling that they have had the truth kept from them by greedy supermarkets and “factory farmers.” 

Not all comment, however, has been so condemnatory. Professor Christine Dodd, president of the Society for Applied Microbiology, said: “This is not a new problem, and the short term solution remains for us all to ensure that we store, prepare and cook chicken properly.

“Research continues into the best ways to reduce Campylobacter contamination in our poultry products, right along the food chain, from field to fork. In the meantime, taking some simple steps at home will prevent many cases of food poisoning from chicken.”

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