The Welsh Food Microbiological Forum (WFMF) is an all Wales body with representation from Local Authorities, FSA Wales and the PHLS in Wales. It coordinates the sampling and examination of ready to eat foods on an all Wales basis through a randomised - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Welsh Food Microbiological Forum (WFMF) is an all Wales body with representation from Local Authorities, FSA Wales and the PHLS in Wales. It coordinates the sampling and examination of ready to eat foods on an all Wales basis through a randomised

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Campylobacter in ready to eat foods: results of a Welsh survey Meldrum RJ * and Smith R+ (on behalf of the Welsh Food Microbiological Forum) * Food Scientist, PHLS in ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Welsh Food Microbiological Forum (WFMF) is an all Wales body with representation from Local Authorities, FSA Wales and the PHLS in Wales. It coordinates the sampling and examination of ready to eat foods on an all Wales basis through a randomised


1
Campylobacter in ready to eat foods results of
a Welsh survey Meldrum RJ and Smith R (on
behalf of the Welsh Food Microbiological
Forum) Food Scientist, PHLS in Wales
Clinical Scientist, CDSC Wales
Introduction The Welsh Food Microbiological
Forum (WFMF) is an all Wales body with
representation from Local Authorities, FSA Wales
and the PHLS in Wales. It coordinates the
sampling and examination of ready to eat foods on
an all Wales basis through a randomised shopping
basket programme. The shopping basket model used
by the WFMF in Wales relies on a nominated list
of foods that are randomly sampled by all
participating Local Authorities for one year,
although foods of interest can be sampled for
longer, as required. Foods to be sampled are
regularly reviewed at WFMF meetings and are
usually selected as being those of particular
interest to Local Authorities, FSA Wales and the
PHLS in Wales. Foods are removed when it is
considered that there has been enough data
collected, but may be included again at a later
stage. It was recognized from the very
beginning of the shopping basket programme that
taking samples on an ad hoc basis from premises
that a sampling officer had chosen introduced
bias into the programme and therefore randomised
sampling was introduced. As well as avoiding
bias, random selection of premises also increased
the variety of outlets sampled, to include
restaurants, schools, garage forecourt shops and
works canteens.   At the beginning of October
2000 testing for Campylobacter was introduced for
the shopping basket that was being sampled at the
time, in response to a need to estimate the level
of Campylobacter contamination in ready to eat
foods available to Welsh consumers. The range of
foods tested over the fifteen months spanned two
shopping basket and included chicken and chicken
products, egg products, ham and pork, all of
which could be potential sources of
Campylobacter. Table 1 details the actual range
of foods tested. Testing for Campylobacter
ceased in January 2002 in light of the results
found.
Results During the fifteen months (October
2000-January 2002) of the examination for
Campylobacter, 1727 usable sample datasets were
returned to CDSC Wales by nine of the twenty-two
local authorities in Wales. No Campylobacter was
found in any of these samples. It is also
estimated that in addition to the 1727 datasets
returned to CDSC Wales, there were at least
another 4000 food samples submitted to PHLS in
Wales for examination. It is known that no
Campylobacter was found in any of these
samples. The datasets returned to CDSC Wales
were analysed by month sampled, area sampled and
food type, based upon the food types defined by
the latest PHLS guidelines for ready to eat foods
sampled at the point of sale.
80
70
60
50
40
samples taken
30
20
10
0
South Wales
Mid-Wales
North Wales
45
40
35
30
Table 1 The range of ready to eat foods tested
for Campylobacter
25
20
samples taken
15
10
5
0
Meat
Dairy
Seafood
Dessert
Savoury
Sandwiches
Vegetables
Ready To Eat
12
10
8
6
samples taken
4
2
0
Oct-00
Jan-01
Apr-01
Jun-01
Jul-01
Aug-01
Sep-01
Oct-01
Jan-02
Nov-00
Dec-00
Feb-01
Mar-01
May-01
Nov-01
Dec-01
Key findings The negative results found in the
survey for Campylobacter in ready to eat foods
available to consumers in Wales is considered
significant. The pathogen could not be detected
in any of the ready to eat foods that were
randomly sampled and therefore there is a degree
of confidence in stating that the range of ready
to eat foods that were sampled are not a
significant source of the organism. The results
of the survey help to focus attention onto other
possible sources of the organism, as there are
still cases of Campylobacter cases occurring in
Wales at approximately 115 cases per 100,000
population. It can be inferred then that there
must be other sources of the organism, including
other food-related sources such as other ready to
eat foods not sampled as part of the shopping
basket, cross contamination or insufficient
cooking within the domestic and catering
environments. A more focussed study is planned.
Methods   As part of the shopping basket
programme, participating Local Authorities
delivered shopping basket samples to one of four
Welsh PHLS laboratories. Samples were examined
for a variety of analytes, including aerobic
colony count, various indicators and various
pathogens, including Campylobacter. Standard
PHLS methods were used for all analytes. Results
of the bacteriological examination were returned
directly to the Local Authority. Local
Authorities recorded the results and sample
information, and then electronically transmitted
the information to CDSC Wales where the WFMF
database is housed, for collation and analysis.
The WFMF database was searched for data
pertaining to the examination for Campylobacter
for the period concerned.
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