Consumer rights outfit Which? has written an open letter to supermarkets calling for a “more visible and co-ordinated” industry-wide approach to tackling campylobacter.
It asks that all major supermarkets publish a “plan of action” before the end of January, detailing what each is doing to reduce campy levels.
The letter, penned by Which? executive director Richard Lloyd, accompanies a petition signed by almost 30,000 people.
Mr Lloyd writes: “It is now almost six weeks since the Food Standards Agency (FSA) released data showing scandalously high levels of campylobacter in chicken.
“Consumers need reassurance that supermarkets are taking this seriously and doing all they can to address the problem.”
He calls for an “integrated programme” of “immediate and planned interventions” across the supply chain.
The FSA has undertaken on-shelf sampling of campylobacter levels on poultrymeat and is releasing data quarterly. The next set of results is expected in late February.
Andrew Opie, policy director at the British Retail Consortium, which represents supermarkets, said millions had been invested in campylobacter reduction to date.
“Food safety is retailers’ top priority and we continue to work with suppliers and government to tackle this supply-chain issue,” he said.
He pointed to the industry working group, which has been running for “many years”, as an example of where collaboration had already seen some interventions rolled out.