The FSA previously committed to publish data on the levels of campylobacter found in shops on a quarterly basis, following calls from Which? to enable consumers to make an informed choice. We are disappointed to see that the FSA have today confirmed, in the release of their board papers, that they are under increasing pressure from the industry to withhold this vital information on a bacteria which is responsible for thousands of cases of food poisoning a year.
Our response: Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said:
“The Food Standards Agency must not bow to industry pressure but should keep their commitment to putting consumers’ interests first by naming the worst performing shops for levels of campylobacter. Campylobacter is responsible for thousands of cases of food poisoning, and even deaths, each year so people have a right to know these results and which retailers are not performing well.”
Notes to editors:
From the FSA board paper, released today (http://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/fsa141103.pdf):
“It is disappointing that the British Retail Consortium, which speaks on behalf of retailers, has written to us again pressing us not to release the results of the retail survey and seeking to call into question the validity of the sampling plan, which they were consulted about before the survey commenced.”