Dirty chicken scandal: food expert calls for boycott of chicken

by Peter Walker and Felicity Lawrence,  The Guardian

A leading food expert and adviser to successive governments has called for a boycott of supermarket chicken because of “scandalous” levels of contamination after tests revealed that up to eight in 10 show traces of a potentially lethal bug.

Professor Tim Lang, who served as an expert adviser to the health and environment departments until 2011 and advised parliament on setting up the Food Standards Agency, said the levels of food poisoning bugs found in official tests on fresh retail chicken were shocking.

Eight out of 10 fresh chickens bought from UK supermarkets this summer were contaminated with the potentially lethal food-poisoning bug campylobacter, the food watchdog has said, warning that not one individual chain is meeting national targets over the issue.

Following six months of testing, an average of 70% of supermarket chickens proved positive for campylobacter on samples of skin. Within that, the Food Standards Agency said, the more recent three months of tests from May to July showed an 80% incidence. The bug tends to be more prevalent during the summer, but consumer groups expressed shock at the soaring levels.  Read the entire story.

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