Consultation on Campylobacter performance targets open

Media contact: MPI media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is asking for feedback on a range of proposed options for testing of Campylobacter in poultry.

The consultation considers the need for any change to Campylobacter performance targets – contamination limits poultry processors must meet as part of MPI’s routine testing for Campylobacter in broiler chickens.

Paul Dansted, MPI’s Acting Director Systems Audit, Assurance and Monitoring, says that while there have been significant improvements in the control of Campylobacter since performance targets were introduced, it’s important they are continually reviewed.

“We’re always looking at ways we can reduce foodborne illness rates and manage the risks associated with Campylobacter,” he says.

“Since Campylobacter performance targets were introduced in 2008, we’ve seen a 50 percent reduction in the number of notified cases of people infected with Campylobacter and a significant decrease in birds testing positive for the bacteria.

“In early 2013, we introduced a Campylobacter detection limit under our routine National Microbiological Database (NMD) programme.

“We agreed to review this limit after at least a year’s data had been collected to determine how effectively it’s working and consider the need for any change,” he says.

The options outlined in the consultation include additional measures to assist businesses with meeting the performance targets, and ways to improve the performance of premises not meeting the targets.

“Feedback from industry is an important part of getting this right, so we encourage any interested parties to have their say and make a submission,” says Dr Dansted.

You can read the proposal in detail and find out how to make a submission on MPI’s website here.

The deadline for submissions is 8 May 2015.

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