PIO chicken king faces UK probe

The bacteria found is a common cause of food poisoning and is known to have killed people

London: An Indian-origin businessman, referred to as the UK’s ‘Chicken King’, is at the centre of a major controversy over the contamination of poultry.

Ranjit Boparan’s ‘2 Sisters’ Group’, the UK’s largest poultry supplier, was singled out in an investigation by The Guardian focusing on the contamination of chicken with campylobacter.

At last count, two-third of fresh chicken was found to be contaminated at varying levels by campylobacter.

Campylobacter is a bacteria frequently found in raw meat, particularly chicken, and can cause food poisoning.

Although the bacteria can be killed by cooking, around 280,000 people fall sick every year in the UK, and it has killed around 100 people so far.

Poultry contamination rates are known to have increased in the past decade, the report said.

The report, which zeroed in on two factories owned by Boparan's group, has led the UK health ministry to launch its own urgent inspections.

A spokesperson for health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “The Food Standards Agency has agreed, at the request of the secretary of state for health, to conduct a full safety audit of the facility.”

“They will start in the next 24 hours and report back. Undercover footage at a factory showed chicken that had fallen on to the factory floor being picked up and thrown back into the production line,” he said.

( Source : PTI )
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