Chair of the ACT Board, Richard MacDonald, described the work on fighting campylobacter as “significant” following the group’s second meeting. He said: “The level of commitment and endeavour shown by producers, retailers, and regulators to tackling this complex bacteria is unprecedented.”
His comments came after positive discussions on a number of major interventions that are showing encouraging results in production level trials; and are on schedule to be available to industry towards the end of 2015. Early indications suggest that significant reductions in campylobacter levels will be possible through the introduction of these interventions.
Mr MacDonald concluded: “We have work to do but also a collective determination to beat this bug. From farmers stopping it getting into their flocks to consumers benefiting from leak-proof and roast-in-the-bag technology. Our aim remains best practice from farm to fork.”
1. The ACT Board’s members are: British Poultry Council, British Retail Consortium, National Farmers Union, Food Standards Agency, Defra, major retailers and processors.
2. The ACT Board was established in late 2014 to rapidly implement and share the best workable and available technologies and techniques in the food production process and supply chain in order to achieve a continuing reduction in Campylobacter from farm to fork and a reduction in foodborne cases of campylobacteriosis.
3. Richard MacDonald was the director general of the NFU from 1996 to 2009. He has also chaired Defra’s Better Regulation Task Force, is a non-executive director of Moy Park, Dairy Crest, the Environment Agency and the Royal Agricultural University, and is chairman of Farm Africa. In 2002 he was awarded a CBE for services to agriculture.