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Campylobacter on chicken broilers
Campylobacter continues to be the most commonly reported gastrointestinal bacterial pathogen in humans in the EU and has been so since 2005. Whereas Salmonella is the second most common cause of foodborne diseases. The number of reported confirmed cases of human campylobacteriosis was 236,851 with an EU notification rate of 71.0 per 100,000 population, a 9.6% increase compared with the rate in 2013.
Especially poultry with Campylobacter levels above 1,000 cfu/g has been target by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to make up the highest risk to consumers.
In the United Kingdom the Food Standard Agency, FSA and the poultry sector has since February 2014 worked together to reduce the level of Campylobacter and especially the percentage of broilers with higher than 1,000 cfu/g. The percentage of high risk poultry offered to consumers from each retailer has been announced quarterly on the FSA homepage.
The ameliorating effect of SonoSteam is well documented through several studies and SonoSteam has the potential to create great log reductions. However, when treating food surfaces one has to find the optimal balance between achieving the best log reduction and avoiding visible skin changes. Our product, the IA Poultry, has successfully been developed to perform this delicate balance and SonoSteam has been part of the effort to reduce Campylobacter exposure to the UK customers. Our equipment is currently installed at four locations in the UK and each equipment is treating nearly one million broilers every week.
“The data continue to show an improvement from the previous year. Interventions, including improved biosecurity, SonoSteam, and the trimming of neck skins, introduced by some retailers to reduce levels of campylobacter, may be helping to deliver the improved results.”
Cargill’s announcement when they introduced SonoSteam technology as part of farm-to-fork commitment to reduce Campylobacter levels.
“Chris Hall, Fresh Chicken Director for Cargill Meats Europe, said “Cargill takes its responsibility for food safety very seriously …. We have been following the development of new technologies very closely and made the commitment that we would adopt one as soon as it proved effective. We are very excited to be taking these next steps with FORCE Technology.”
Faccenda supplies around half of the poultry to retailer ASDA and the percentage above 1,000 cfu/g has dropped from initial 31% in the period between February 2014 and February 2015 to 11% in October-December 2015.
“Process innovation is being implemented across our supply base for example: At the end of 2015 our major chicken supplier installed a SonoSteam system. This steam/ ultrasound system has been scientifically proven to significantly reduce Campylobacter levels. This process is applied to 100% of chickens supplied from the site and is having a positive impact on our test results”