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Raw chicken meat microbiological survey (2011)

(Last updated November 2011)

FSANZ conducted a survey in 2008 to see whether live and slaughtered chickens are contaminated with harmful bacteria.

The survey was used to guide development of the Primary Production and Processing (PPP) Standard for Poultry Meat, which takes effect in May 2012. The standard requires poultry farmers and processors to ensure their practices and procedures are effective at lowering the likelihood of poultry being contaminated with Salmonella and Campylobacter.

Salmonella and Campylobacter are the two main bacteria that can be present on raw chicken but they are killed by cooking. Tests for Salmonella and Campylobacter were taken at three points along the chicken meat supply chain: on-farm, just before processing and at the slaughtering process.

Key findings

  • Samples taken on-farm showed 64% of chickens were positive for Campylobacter and 47% were positive for Salmonella (47% with pathogenic types).
  • Samples taken before processing showed 84% of chickens were positive for Campylobacter and 13% forSalmonella(7.5% were positive for pathogenic types).
  • Samples taken at the end of the slaughtering process showed 84% were positive for Campylobacter and 37% for Salmonella (22% positive for pathogenic types).

These results broadly reflect the results of similar surveys in Australia and overseas.

After the standard takes effect FSANZ will conduct another poultry survey to determine the effectiveness of the new requirements in lowering Salmonella and Campylobacter contamination on raw poultry.

See the full survey results (PDF 616kb) or a shorter version (PDF 101kb) .


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