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FSA plans to tackle campylobacter
Strategy aims to reduce food poisoning

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has pledged to tackle campylobacter in an attempt to reduce cases of human food poisoning in the UK.

A strategy has been published which aims to help control campylobacter in chicken, which remains the most common cause of food poisoning in humans.

Campylobacter is thought to be responsible for around 460,000 cases of food poisoning, and 110 deaths in the UK each year.

According to the FSA, 50 to 80 per cent of campylobacteriosis cases in the UK and other EU countries come from poultry.

Back in 2007/8, an FSA survey found that 65 per cent of chicken on sale in shops was contaminated with campylobacter. Although the agency says reducing cases is its top priority, there is as yet no evidence to suggest that the number of cases has decreased.

Part of the FSA's plan to address this involves improving the available information on campylobacter levels at all stages of the supply chain.

The agency says it expects the food industry to develop new initiatives, continue to improve biosecurity on farms and ensure that slaughter and processing methods prevent the contamination of carcasses.

Working alongside government partners, the FSA has also pledged to ensure that businesses using chilled chicken are aware of the risks of campylobacter.

Long-term interventions to tackle the problem, such as vaccinations, will also be investigated through research programmes.

Catherine Brown, FSA Chief Executive, said: "I feel that because this is a complex and difficult issue there has tended to be an acceptance that a high level of contamination will inevitably occur and that there’s little that can be done to prevent it.

"The FSA doesn’t believe this is the case and this paper sets out how together we can make progress towards reducing the number of people who get ill from campylobacter."

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New series shares recipes for pet-safe festive treats

News Story 1
 Battersea has launched a new Christmas baking series across all it's social media channels, to teach owners how to make pet-safe treats for dogs and cats.

The two-part series will show dog owners how to make Christmas dog treats using xylitol-free peanut butter and banana. Meanwhile, cat owners will be taught how to use rolled oats and turkey to make a festive snack for their pet.

Battersea also reminds pet owners of the importance of insuring that animals maintain a healthy balanced diet and adds that these food items should only be given as a treat.

To view the series, please visit Battersea's YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

Image (c) Battersea. 

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News Shorts
APHA confirms eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in England

The Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) has identified an eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 in poultry in England.

Confirmed on Tuesday (15 December), the outbreak was found in captive birds and poultry at a premises near Willington, South Derbyshire. A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been placed around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Further information about the outbreaks and the latest government advice can be found at gov.uk