What is Campylobacter? Campylobacter is the most common cause of bacterial food poisoning in humans.
Campylobacter is naturally occurring in the environment and is found in many animals, including chickens.
Facing up to the challenge
As a responsible retailer we understand that we have a role to play to reduce the levels of Campylobacter in the supply chain and to help raise awareness with our customers as to how they can handle fresh poultry in a safe manner.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has identified Campylobacter as a key priority and is working with those directly in the industry to tackle it. Aldi is dedicated to supporting the FSA in this goal, which is why we are a signatory of the Acting on Campylobacter Together (ACT) campaign.
As well as working with the FSA (and other industry bodies), we understand that we need to take the lead with our suppliers to deliver against the FSA target.
We are actively participating in a number of initiatives and Aldi-specific projects to do even more to reduce the levels of Campylobacter in the supply chain. We will closely monitor each of these initiatives in order to determine their impact in reducing levels of Campylobacter.
Aldi monitors the levels of Campylobacter carefully using both the FSA’s data and our own internally collected and independently verified data.
Additionally, we are maintaining open dialogue with our suppliers, the FSA, the ACT board and other industry bodies to ensure that we incorporate relevant advances in technology or techniques into our supply chain.
OUR FIVE-STAGE PLAN
It is important that Campylobacter is tackled from farm to fork. That is why we have a clear five-stage plan that covers every aspect of the supply chain.
We are implementing a range of techniques on the farm with the aim of reducing levels of Campylobacter at the source of the supply chain. This includes new and innovative production techniques and incentives for farmers who produce chickens that are Campylobacter negative.
We are working with our suppliers to develop plant processes to reduce the levels of Campylobacter on raw poultry during processing. This includes implementing strict packaging procedures minimising the possibility of Campylobacter being transferred to the outside of packs.
Aldi’s procedures ensure that fresh poultry is held at low temperatures throughout our supply chain all the way to our stores. We have also delivered training for staff on handling fresh poultry.
Aldi launched its range of ‘Cook in a Bag’ whole chicken in 2014, which reduces the need for customers to handle raw chicken. A substantial number of the whole chickens we sell are now ‘Cook in a Bag’.
In addition to the “Do not wash” messages in the on-pack cooking instructions, all of our whole chickens display the “Do not wash” stickers.