The Food Standards Agency’s main priority right now is to reduce campylobacter cases of food poisoning, but this can only be achieved if everyone from farmers to supermarkets takes steps to change.
With 460,000 campylobacter cases of food poisoning in the UK each year (that’s 22,000 people hospitalised and 110 deaths), the cost to the NHS is around £540m. Whilst campylobacter can be found in the environment or caught from pets, around 60 -80% of cases are caused by chicken.
Thinning presents a significant risk to birds on farms, but enhanced biosecurity and sexing in conjunction with a ‘culling-out’ policy can help to reduce campylobacter. A recent project monitored on-farm campylobacter levels and provided staff with feedback. The importance of on-farm testing should not be underestimated, with methods such as boot swabs proving effective. Slaughterhouses also need to adjust their practices to avoid cross-contamination that could be caused by carcass washing. Using innovative methods such as using nitrogen to chill the surfaces of the carcass’ skin can help reduce the risk of campylobacter.
Supermarkets can do their part by ensuring they use antimicrobial treatments and focus on packaging for chicken which prevents leakage whilst in the home, maintaining good hygiene and ensuring raw meat cross-contamination doesn’t occur can help to prevent the spread of the bacteria. The FSA’s ‘Food Safety Week’ will provide people with advice on handling, storing and preparing chicken to prevent campylobacter poisoning from occurring.
Has someone you love suffered from food poisoning?
Whilst you may accidentally contaminate food yourself at home, if you or someone you love has been struck down with food poisoning caused by campylobacter whilst eating at a restaurant or café, you may be able to claim compensation. Food poisoning symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, headaches, stomach cramps and diarrhoea and whilst they should resolve within a few days, they may persist and require medical intervention. Restaurants with poor hygiene practices should be forced to improve their standards and reporting the situation to your local environmental health department whilst making a claim for compensation can help to ensure this happens.
How we can help you claim food poisoning compensation
Call Accident Advice Helpline today and we can offer confidential, no-obligation advice, however you have been affected by food poisoning. If you’re wondering how much compensation you could be eligible to claim, just visit our website and take the 30-second test or pick up the phone and call us to see whether you have a viable claim. We have experience working in the industry and have helped thousands of people receive compensation for food poisoning. Call our freephone helpline today to see how we can hep you.
Date Published: June 15, 2014
Author: David Brown