Lidl Chicken ‘contaminated with Superbugs’

Campaign group Open Cages tested Lidl’s fresh chicken products and found that over half contain drug-resistant “superbugs”.

Lidl Chicken 'contaminated with Superbugs' f

"People can get ill from processing and consuming contaminated meat"

According to campaign group Open Cages, fresh chicken sold in Lidl are riddled with potentially deadly drug-resistant “superbugs”.

Of the 40 fresh products tested, it said 58% were found to contain superbugs MRSA and ESBL.

E.coli was also detected in 47.5% of products, and Listeria was found in 30% of those tested.

Lidl responded by saying this was a “very small, controlled sample tested outside of UK guidelines” and there was no risk to public health.

However, experts still consider the findings worrying as the anti-biotic resistant bacteria can make treatment ineffective.

Timothy Walsh, Professor of Medical Microbiology and Antibiotic Resistance at the University of Oxford, said:

“People can get ill from processing and consuming contaminated meat, and the use of human antibiotics in animal production can have a profound long-term effect on the effectiveness of antibiotics to treat human infections.”

MRSA can cause serious infections and lead to painful and swollen skin, a high temperature, and difficulty breathing.

ESBL most commonly infects the gut and urinary tract.

In a statement, Lidl said: “Food safety is a priority for our business and all products are subject to extensive quality controls throughout the supply chain.

“We work closely with our suppliers and a multitude of industry partners, aligning our policies with the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (Ruma) and the Food Industry Initiative on Antimicrobials (FIIA) to ensure the responsible and Ruma recommended use of antibiotics while ensuring animal welfare remains a priority.

“Our own testing shows that in the last 12 months, there have been no micro-related deviations outside of legal levels, and no concerns have been raised to us by any regulatory bodies on this topic.

“It’s therefore evident and extremely concerning that Open Cages continues to disseminate false and inaccurate information, with the apparent aim of garnering media attention and both scaremongering and misleading the public.

“If Open Cages has any real and verified concerns regarding the presence of pathogens in fresh British chicken, we encourage it to work with verified sources and share its complete findings with either ourselves or with the FSA for further investigation.”

All 40 products tested by Open Cages were sold in five stores in Manchester, Birmingham and London and marketed under the ‘Birchwood British’ chicken brand.

Samples included whole roasting chickens, thighs, drumsticks and breast meat.

They were then sent to a laboratory in Germany for testing by the campaign group.

On social media, one person said Birchwood British also supplies chicken to major brands such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and KFC.

Open Cages’ report does not include full test results from each item, including levels of pathogens allegedly present and whether they fall outside of legal limits.

They also give no detail on when the products were tested and the use-by dates of the chicken.

Open Cages has also launched a petition for Lidl to stop its current chicken farming practices.

Lead Editor Dhiren is our news and content editor who loves all things football. He also has a passion for gaming and watching films. His motto is to "Live life one day at a time".

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