Infectious Diseases 2021

Infectious Diseases 2021

Campylobacter contamination of UK-produced Halal chicken at retail

J Food Prot . 2021 6 March, 2021

A new study demonstrates that Halal chicken has a higher Campylobacter prevalence than non-Halal chicken. This project aimed to determine the prevalence and levels of Campylobacter contamination of chicken meat produced for the UK Halal market. Campylobacter was identified and enumerated from the neck skin and outer packaging of 405 Halal chickens. Campylobacter spp. were confirmed in 65.4% of neck skin samples and 17.1% of packaging samples. 13.8% of neck skin samples had the highest level of contamination (>1000 cfu/g). Large birds had a significantly higher number of samples with >1000 cfu/g (p<0.001) and as chicken carcass weight increased, birds were more likely to be Campylobacter-positive (p<0.05). A high prevalence of resistance was seen to ciprofloxacin (42.0%) and 38.5% of samples contained at least one multi-drug resistant Campylobacter isolate. Interventions should be introduced to reduce this increased public health risk to consumers.