SUPERBUG bacteria have been found in fresh chicken sold in supermarkets across the UK.
Research has discovered antibiotic-resistant strains of Campylobacter, bacteria that is found in over half of all fresh chicken sold by major UK retailers.
Alamy Research found some shop bought chickens contain the bug – resistant to antibiotics
Campylobacter, which passes to humans through bad food hygiene and undercooked meat, is responsible for an estimated 500,000 cases of illness a year in the UK.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Public Health England found that 52 per cent of samples of a strain of the bug were resistant to one of the most common antibiotics.
9.1 per cent of samples of another strain were resistant to at least three different kinds of antibiotic.
Many farmers use antibiotics similar to human medicines to treat illness in their livestock, but over time the bugs have mutated to resist them.
As a result, doctors are increasingly struggling to treat people who fall ill from food contamination.
In the US, the government tried to tackle the problem by banning farmers from using certain antibiotics. Campaigners, however, say the UK government has not done enough.
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Colin Nunan from the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics said: “Campylobacter can be a very serious infection so the government and its regulators are putting human health at risk through their refusal to act.”
Paul Cook from the FSA’s microbial risk assessment team said: “Tackling AMR [anti-microbial resistance] is a significant priority for the FSA and across UK Government. This survey allows us to monitor AMR campylobacter in retail chickens over time and overall results have remained stable.”
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