British supermarket chickens show record levels of antibiotic-resistant superbugs

Food Standards Agency reports ‘significant increase’ of harmful pathogen campylobacter in British-farmed chickens.
calendar icon 16 January 2018
clock icon 2 minute read

The Guardian reports that government research has concluded that chickens found in Britain's supermarkets are becoming increasingly affected by the antimicrobial resistant (AMR) Campylobacter infection. The survey shows that the infection is becoming more resistant to ciprofloxacin. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) concludes that this resistance has "significantly increased" since 2007 and 2008 and explains that "resistance to fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin and nalidixic acid) and tetracycline was most common."

The study tested samples of retail chicken and compared standard and organic chickens, with "no significant difference" found, "however, the small sample size, especially for organic chickens, was small, [and] may have limited the ability to detect important differences where they exist."

The FSA stresses the importance of hygenic handling of chicken and thorough cooking.

You can read the full article from The Guardian here.

For more information about antibiotic reduction initiatives, click here.

Ryan Johnson

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2008 to 2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery and helped to maintain public and protected green spaces in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in agriculture across the globe.

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