A recent survey from Addmaster has found that over half of respondents did not know what Campylobacter is.
The results appear in a survey commissioned by Addmaster to find out how habits and attitudes towards shopping bag usage have changed since the 5p “bag tax” was implemented in England back in October 2015.
Campylobacter bacteria are usually found in healthy domestic and wild animals but are most closely associated with poultry and in particular chicken.
The bacteria is the largest single cause of food-borne illness in the UK, with an estimated 280,000 cases resulting in around 110 deaths every year.
It only takes a low dose of around 500 bacteria to cause an infection and as the incubation period can be anything from 2 to 5 days for symptoms to show it’s not always immediately obvious that Campylobacter is the cause.
As an estimated 7% of all the outer packaging of raw chicken sold in supermarkets is reported to be contaminated with Campylobacter, food safety experts like Dr Lisa Ackerley are urging for an increase in awareness to prevent shoppers posing a risk to themselves:
“Until progress has been made to reduce the levels of contamination of chickens and their packaging there will continue to be a very real threat of householders poisoning themselves,’ Lisa Ackerley said.
To avoid Campylobacter bacteria spreading it’s advised to wash your hands after handling raw chicken or chicken packaging, and ensure that you use a separate shopping bag for carrying raw meat and poultry. You should also ask for a free bag at the checkout to separate your raw meat or poultry from other items.
You can also use a Biomaster antibacterial bag for life, which are available from leading supermarkets such as M&S and Morrisons, which help to inhibit the growth of bacteria between shopping trips.
The sure-fire way of helping to prevent contamination would be to incorporate antimicrobial technology into the packaging trays, which a number of packaging companies are already able to supply.
LINPAC Packaging’s product that incorporates Biomaster protects against Campylobacter as well as E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria.
For the cost of significantly less than a penny per pack, the antimicrobial additives can be applied to food trays without affecting taste or smell and are fully compliant with food safety standards.
For 10 Facts About Campylobacter visit our dedicated Biomaster website