Targets set for reducing campylobacter in poultry across the UK by the end of 2013 are looking less likely to be met, according to a top official.
Peter Bradnock, the chief executive of the British Poultry Council (BPC), explained that the new techniques of process treatment will need to be introduced should the industry meet goals outlined for 2015. Campylobacter is known as the "twisted bacteria" and has previously been linked with diseases such as C. jejuni and C. Coli. It has been a growing problem in poultry across the UK and experts have been looking at ways in which it could be cut down to prevent it persisting through other species.
One solution was the introduction of lactic acid antimicrobial washes, which had recently been approved by the European Commission to be used on beef carcasses. However, despite the improved biosecurity measures on farms, Mr Bradnock told FoodManufacture.co.uk that recent research showed the lactic acid use was not as effective as first thought.
"Lactic acid looked like it was very useful. Lactic acid somehow damages the campylobacter but doesn’t actually kill them … and they recover, it would seem. So the enthusiasm has diminished both from a scientific view and from the user point of view," Mr Bradnock told the news provider.
The focus has now been shifted to ensure that better provision are put in place to mean that similar issues do not occur in the future and that the industry has deployed a way that it will hit its 2015 targets. One of the main focuses has been around crust freezing which has been deemed to produce better results than lactic acid and is described as a technique that the sector is "pinning all hopes on".
It has not been a good start to the year for the food industry in wake of the much-publicised horsemeat scandal. The discovery that equine DNA was present in a number of supermarket products forced the likes of Tesco, Ikea and Findus to recall various stock items.