BBC’s Countryfile highlights dangers of Campylobacter

The BBC show Countryfile recently did a show highlighting the dangers of Campylobacter, which according to industry experts may be greatly underestimated. Presenter John Craven gave an investigative feature on the harmful bacteria and traced sources of contamination from the farm, trough to processing and finally in the kitchen.

Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK and incidents are on the increase, with hundreds of thousands of people infected every year. Campylobacter is easily spread and the most common source is believed to fresh chicken, with other farm animals such as pigs, sheep and cattle cited as sources. Unfortunately for the consumer these animals can harbour the bacteria but they are immune to its side effects.

The FSA (Food Standards Agency) is concerned about the level of Campylobacter found on fresh chicken and did a test in UK shops and supermarkets. The tests revealed that nearly two thirds of all the chicken sold was contaminated. With the increase in the amount of chicken being sold this also means that there is an increase in the risk to the consumer coming into contact with Campylobacter.

The problem of Campylobacter cross infection starts with the animals on the farm. One interviewed farmer stated that this “invisible foe” is unavoidable and is everywhere. Also Campylobacter is easily transported around the farm, mainly by feet, so strict cleaning procedures are in place along with protective clothing such as hooded suits and sterilised boots.

Despite all of these precautions Campylobacter is still spread around the farm and it is estimated that over 70% of chicken are infected with the bacteria, which is then carried over to the processing plants.

In the processing plant the most likely source of Campylobacter cross infection is from gutting the chicken and removing the feathers. Despite measures in place to stop the spread the processing plants are not being successful at eradicating cross contamination.

Eight hundred and fifty million chickens are slaughtered and processed a year with an estimated 70% contaminated with the harmful Campylobacter bacteria.

Once the chicken leaves the processing plants the last chance to remove Campylobacter is in the kitchen and the FSA is concerned that the threat of cross contamination from this bacteria is not taken seriously enough in some parts of the catering trade.

Biomaster antimicrobial technology is effective against Campylobacter

Biomaster Antimicrobial Technology is a silver based additive that can be added into any plastic, paper, textile or paint and coating product. Biomaster treated products have been proven to reduce the growth of Campylobacter on their surface by up to 99.99% and last the active lifetime of the product.

Biomaster could easily be incorporated into almost any surface that comes into contact with chicken during it’s time from farm to fork. From the farmers clothing, to chicken feed containers, conveyor belts, tools, knifes, thermometers even the floors, walls and ceilings of processing plants can be treated for long term protection against the growth of Campylobacter.

*Please note that Addmaster was acquired by the Polygiene Group AB in January 2021, so all news articles prior to that date will still be branded as Addmaster.