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Food poisoning cases from touching chicken packaging

Food safety officials from Birmingham are concerned about food poisoning bacteria which have been found on chicken packaging.

A study of 20 packets of chicken from a variety of different UK supermarkets, smaller shops and butchers, discovered that eight of them (40%) had bacteria on their wrapping which could cause people to fall ill with food poisoning.

Not only that, but seven of the chickens inside the packaging were contaminated with the campylobacter bug, and one with salmonella.

Findings have been reported to the Government's Food Standards Agency (FSA) and customers handling chicken packaging are being reminded to wash their hands to minimise the risk of falling ill.

Authorities are worried that cases of cross-contamination may occur as shoppers handle food all around a shop, passing bacteria on their hands from one item of food to another, as well as the handles on shopping trolleys or basket which they might be using.

The British Retail Consortium's food director says, "Chicken is perfectly safe if the common sense rules that apply to all raw meat are followed. People should wash their hands after touching it and make sure it's properly cooked".

A spokesman for the FSA explained that "[the FSA] is currently working with the food industry to minimise the spread of this bug at all stages of the food chain, from improved hygiene in farms to better leak-proof packaging in the shops".

The hope is that this will reduce food poisoning cases and any compensation claims which could follow.


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