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FSA ‘disappointed’ by food retailers’ anonymity request

The Food Standards Agency says it has been asked by retailers not to name individual companies when it publishes the results of its survey into campylobacter contamination of chicken sold in UK shops.

Catherine Brown, the FSA’s chief executive, said that a body representing retailers had written to the agency about its ongoing survey of chicken contamination. In a report to the FSA board, Brown said: “It is disappointing that the British Retail Consortium 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 it was consulted about before the survey commenced.” 

This month, the FSA is due to publish the second of four rounds of quarterly results from the year-long survey. In August, it said that 59 per cent of samples of chicken sold in UK shops tested positive for campylobacter, but did not name individual retailers because the data were not robust enough, according to Steve Wearne, the FSA’s director of policy. On 5 September, Wearne said that the FSA would name retailers alongside the campylobacter levels in its November results. 

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