The 2 Sisters Food Group has unveiled a new £1 million microbiology lab that it hopes will help reduce and eradicate campylobacter.
The laboratory, which is based athe the BioCity Laurus site in Nottingham, was opened by the chief executive of the Food Standards Agency, Catherine Brown.
It will test up to 16,00 samples every week, covering a whole range of products from 2 Sisters manufacturing sites all over the UK.
Each product to be made by 2 Sisters has a microbiological specification, which is determined by either customer requirement or law.
Samples will be tested for bacteria either by way of automated machinery or by being placed in agar. Results of the tests will then be sent back to the factory from where the samples came from.
Ranjit Singh, chief executive of 2 Sisters, said: "This facility underlines our total commitment to producing world-class food products.
"We have invested a substantial sum in this lab and, as our business grows, there will be an increasing need to ensure quality and safety go hand-in-hand."
Catherine Brown of the FSA added: “Investments like this, not only in facilities, but in skills and people, are one of the key ways that industry shows it takes food safety seriously and really care about the quality of the food that it sells.”
Ms Brown said that she was pleased with the way in which 2 Sisters had taken the initiative of not only creating a new lab to combat pathogens but also raising the profile of campylobacter across the rest of the industry.
She added that more food and drink manufacturers within the industry needed to follow the the lead of 2 Sisters in taking the issue of campylobacter more seriously.
Campylobacter causes hundreds of thousands of people to fall ill each year, with many needing hospital treatment and some enduring long-lasting effects.
The new site in Nottingham is expected to cost 2 Sisters around £2 million a year to run and will create up to 20 new jobs.