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NZ Poultry Industry combats campylobacter

NZ Poultry Industry combats campylobacter

Consumer concerns about campylobacter have been high on the agenda at today’s meeting of the Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand (PIANZ).

The PIANZ board gathered in Auckland to hear the latest international developments on campylobacter, a bacterium which continues to cause headaches for food safety experts all over the world.

Board members agreed on several measures, aimed at highlighting the industry’s ongoing campaign to reduce campylobacter levels in raw poultry products.
These measures include

• New trials of treatment options reflecting latest overseas developments
• Further meetings with the NZ Food Safety Authority to share new international research data.
• A revamped website with special consumer advice highlighting the importance of food handling and preparation.
• A review of poultry handling advice on packaging.

During today’s meeting, board members heard a global perspective on campylobacter from visiting Australian poultry expert Dr Margaret Mackenzie. An international authority on campylobacter, Dr Mackenzie says when it comes to campylobacter in poultry; this country has similar levels to most other OECD countries.

Despite extensive international research, health authorities including the World Health Organisation are still struggling to find ways to minimise levels of campylobacter.

The Poultry Industry Association’s Executive Director Michael Brooks says the industry acknowledges poultry can be a source of campylobacter. Mr. Brooks says consumers are also well aware that chicken remains a safe and healthy food when cooked.

“Over the past ten years, our industry has been a world leader in reducing the levels of Salmonella in poultry,” he says. “We’ll continue reviews along the entire supply chain in a bid to do the same with campylobacter.”

Campylobacter occurs naturally in a wide variety of wild and domestic animals including poultry, cattle, pigs and sheep. The bacteria are also found in birds, flies domestic pets, and untreated milk and drinking water.

Ends

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