News story

Campylobacter: government response

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Government advice on minimising the public's risk of food poisoning through campylobacter, a bacteria that naturally occurs in chicken.

  • Campylobacter is a bacteria that naturally occurs in chicken. When chicken is not properly handled or cooked, campylobacter can cause food poisoning.

  • The public can protect themselves and help minimise the risk by following long standing advice on preparing and cooking chicken.

  • Cooking and handling advice can be found on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website

  • Our top priority is the safety of the public and people need to feel confident in the food they buy.

  • We continue to work closely with the FSA and the industry to help further reduce the risk of food poisoning from undercooked or inappropriately handled chicken.

  • We want to see better hygiene controls on farms as well as improved training and education across the industry, including food producers, retailers, caterers and the public. This will help to reduce levels of campylobacter and manage the risk to the public.

  • Consumers can reduce the risks posed by campylobacter by making sure they pack raw chicken separately. Hands need to be washed and surfaces that come into contact with raw chicken and its packaging should be cleaned.

  • Find out more about what campylobacter is and how we are working with industry to reduce the risk to public health.

  • The government supports the FSA’s decision to publish a more detailed summary, and name retailers, as soon as they have sufficient data to do so.