Research on the prevalence of Salmonella and Campylobacter in Icelandic chicken products on the consumer market
With the adoption of most of the food rules and EU food legislation (178/2002 and 102/2010), it is clear that the import of fresh meat products to Iceland could become a reality, but so far the government has banned such imports altogether. In this context, there is a need to obtain data on the safety of Icelandic products on the market with regard to microbial contamination. Extensive data are available on the frequency of Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry farming in Iceland and at slaughter in recent years, but there has been a lack of information on the state of affairs in the consumer market. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the frequency of these pathogens in Icelandic fresh chicken products on the market. A total of 537 samples were taken over a 12-month period from May 2012 to April 2013 from the country's three largest producers. 183 packs of whole chickens, 177 packs of breasts and 177 packs of wings were examined. All samples in the study were negative for both Salmonella and Campylobacter. It is therefore clear that the situation in these countries is very good and as good or better than what is happening in other countries.
With the adoption of the main parts of the EU food legislation (178/2002 and 102/2010) it is evident that import of fresh meat and poultry could be possible even though at present it is still prohibited by the Icelandic government. In this respect it is advisable to keep data on the safety of Icelandic products already on the market for current reference. Extensive data are available of the frequency of Salmonella and Campylobacter at the breeding and slaughtering steps in the poultry supply chain in Iceland but no systematic data collection has been done at the retail level in recent years. The aim of this study was therefore to estimate the frequency of contamination of the above mentioned pathogens in consumer packs of Icelandic poultry production. A total of 537 samples were collected in a 12 month period from May 2012 to April 2013 from the three largest domestic producers. Total of 183 packs of whole chicken were analyzed, 177 packs of fillets and 177 packs of wing cuts. All samples measured negative both for Salmonella and Campylobacter. It is therefore confirmed that the monitoring scheme and intervention policy in Icelandic poultry production is effective and that the status of contamination of these pathogens in fresh retail poultry packs is as good as, or better than in other EU states.