Join the Chicken Challenge and let’s halve campylobacter food poisoning
Lets hear it for the humble chicken. We love it. Its healthy and versatile
food and it brings us all together around the table for Sunday lunch and around
the barbecue on sunny afternoons.
We are a society of chicken eaters. A recent Food Standards Agency (FSA) poll
found that almost three quarters (73%) of us eat chicken every week in England,
Wales and Northern Ireland. And, nearly three quarters (72%) of 16-24 year olds
and of all those aged over 25 (52%) agreed that chicken was their favourite
But theres just one thing we dont love about it. Chicken can cause food
poisoning. The FSA estimate that about 280,000 cases of food poisoning a year
can be traced to Campylobacter - a germ found mostly on raw chicken. You can’t
see it, smell it or even taste it on food, but if it affects you, you won’t
forget it. At its worst, campylobacter can kill or paralyse you.
Campylobacter food poisoning usually develops a few days after eating
contaminated food and leads to symptoms that include abdominal pain, severe
diarrhoea and, sometimes, vomiting.
Some can have lasting effects for example irritable bowel syndrome, reactive
arthritis and, in rare cases, Guillain-Barré syndrome – a serious condition of
the nervous system.
The FSA wants to cut the number of cases of campylobacter poisoning in half by
the end of 2015. It could mean that over a hundred thousand fewer people would
get sick next year. If everyone does their bit including industry and consumers
this can happen. Pledging to take the Chicken Challenge and to do at least one
thing to help keep our tummies safe and healthy will make a huge difference in
helping to achieve this goal.
The FSA is asking you to step up to the plate and promise to:
• Bag and store raw chicken separately from other food, covered and chilled on
the bottom shelf of the fridge
• Not to wash raw chicken as it splashes germs
• Wash everything that’s touched raw chicken in soap and hot water – your hands
• Check chicken is cooked properly - no pink meat, steaming hot and the juices
To take the pledge and the chance to win some amazing prizes visit
‘It’s clear that we all love chicken, we just need to take the time and be even
more committed to ensuring we do the little things in the kitchen to keep our
loved ones safe. If you want your chicken meals to be remembered for the right
reasons, follow the FSA’s advice on the recommended safe practices when
preparing, cooking and storing chicken.’ Says Nina Purcell Director of the FSA
Councillor Kevin Jones, Cabinet Member for Waste Strategy, Public Protection
and Leisure said:
“Flintshire County Council is proud to be a part of this national campaign,
which is spreading the word and not the germs. Its important that everyone
knows how to handle and cook food safely for themselves and for their families.
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
What is campylobacter?
Campylobacter is the generic name for a number of species of bacteria that can
cause food poisoning in people. They cause more cases of food poisoning in the
UK than salmonella, E. coli and listeria combined.
Campylobacter bacteria are commonly found on poultry meat. Between 50% and 80%
of cases of campylobacter food poisoning in the UK and other EU countries can
be attributed to poultry sources, mostly to raw poultry meat. Scientific
Opinion on Quantification of the risk posed by broiler meat to human
campylobacteriosis in the EU (adopted 9 December 2009)
For more information and to take the pledge: www.food.gov.uk/chickenchallenge
For advice on handling poultry safely see www.food.gov.uk/chicken
Why it’s important?
Campylobacter poisoning can lead to sickness including abdominal pain,
diarrhoea, disability and even worse. Those most at risk are children and older
Find out more about the FSA’s Chicken Challenge at