Danish Chicken Free of Salmonella, Says Minister

DENMARK - The recently published EFSA survey shows Danish chicken are free of Salmonella.
calendar icon 19 March 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Danish efforts to combat Salmonella and Campylobacter in chicken at slaughterhouse level show fine results in a new report from the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA)

EFSA published the results of a survey on Salmonella and Campylobacter in chicken at slaughterhouses in the European Union. Danish results on Salmonella place Denmark at the top of the list together with Estonia, Finland and Luxembourg as countries where no Salmonella was detected. With regard to Campylobacter, Danish chicken ranked as number five among the 28 states that participated in the survey.

Danish Minister of Food, Henrik Høegh, said: "I am very satisfied with the results which show that Denmark is in the lead in this field, as this has great impact on food security and consumer confidence."

Together with the Danish People's Party, the Danish government earmarked 57 million kroner (DKK) in 2007-2010 to combat Salmonella and Campylobacter in Danish and imported poultry, beef, pork and eggs. The programme includes intensified random sampling of Danish and imported food and action plans for Salmonella in pigs and cattle as well as Campylobacter in chicken.

The Minister continued: "Danish agribusiness and Danish authorities have made great efforts to combat Salmonella and Campylobacter in Danish chicken and poultry. This is a good basis for our continuing work toward special EU guarantees for Salmonella in chicken and eggs."

Special guarantees for Salmonella would mean that all chicken and eggs destined for Denmark must be tested and found free of Salmonella before being shipped to Denmark. The application for special guarantees is currently being considered in the EU-system.

The EFSA report is the first one on Campylobacter, and it shows the amount of Salmonella and Campylobacter found in chicken flocks and chicken carcasses at the slaughterhouses. Data are listed for each Member State.

With a prevalence of 31.4 per cent of Campylobacter in chicken, Denmark ranks as number five after Estonia, Finland, Cyprus and Sweden, while some Member States have a prevalence approaching 100 per cent.

The first Danish action plan on Campylobacter in chicken was adopted in 2008.

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