Don’t wash chicken

June 16, 2014 by The Food Policy Team

The Co-operative is fully supportive of the Food Standards Agency campaign of ‘Don’t wash Chicken’ during Food Safety Week.  Our advice to customers is ‘Don’t wash chicken’ and we are committed to widening understanding about food hygiene by working with the Food Standards Agency and the industry on this campaign to spread the message. We are committed to the reduction of Campylobacter in Food and working closely with industry partners to delivery on this strategy.

We source our British fresh chicken through our Farming Group model which enables us to work collaboratively with our farmers and suppliers to reduce the incidence of Campylobacter in chickens.  We are members of the FSA Joint Working Group and have developed our own action plan with our board’s support to focus our work and research.

We are a co-funding partner on Campylobacter research with the University of Liverpool. On farms and in agriculture we work with our farmers direct through our Farming Groups on best practice, biosecurity and we are co-funding the Farmer Incentive Scheme and Non-thinning trials. We are working closely with our supply base and through the processing working group on identifying processing interventions.  All of our chicken products are clearly labelled with clear cooking and safety instructions on how to cook and handle chicken safely.  We include these messages on all recipes and in our food magazine.  We have moved all of our whole chickens to a leak proof packaging format at the early stages of our action plan to deliver a safe packaging solution for our customers.  Recently we have developed a range of ovenable chicken products to enable our customers to place them directly into the oven avoiding further handling and reducing the risk of cross contamination further. We are also a member of the FSA communications group looking at consumer messages and engagement.

We are committed to the reduction of Campylobacter in Food and working closely with industry partners and the Food Standards Agency to delivery on this strategy.

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