Samples of pork and poultry have shown high levels of bacteria such as salmonella and E coli according to a new study
Pork and poultry that has shown “unacceptable” levels of bacteria such as salmonella and E coli will be reaching supermarket shelves within the US, according to the preliminary findings of a study that may be confirming the fears of campaigners that are currently fighting to ensure that the UK’s agriculture bill will protect the domestic food standards in the country, as well as consumers.
The agriculture bill 2019–21 will be returning to the House of Commons on Monday, and will be including an amendment from the House of Lords that is calling for all food imports to be produced at the same standards as domestic products.
This comes after the aim of the government’s new 3-tier COVID-19 national lockdown system is to get the coronavirus under control by the beginning of next year and hopefully in time for Christmas, a minister has told the press.
Campaigners fear that a failure to protect the food standards within the UK in law means that the future of a trade deal with the United States might allow more cheaply produced meat to end up flooding the UK market.
The British government has repeatedly refused to agree to any restrictions in parliament or so-called “red lines” on its negotiating position in trade talks with the US. Liz Truss, the Trade secretary, has argued that parliament would be able to block a trade deal if a majority of parliamentary members wanted to vote on it, but this would happen only after the deal had been negotiated and signed.
A spokesperson for the US National Chicken Council told the Guardian: “The US chicken industry works to eradicate all strains and products undergo microbiological testing to look for their presence.”
“If you were to look at the US Department of Agriculture’s most recent posting of categories for large broiler establishments, you would see that more than 93% of the industry is meeting the FSIS performance standard for salmonella on whole broiler carcasses.”
“Similarly, 95% of large broiler establishments are meeting the FSIS performance standard for salmonella on chicken parts.”
This comes after over 1,000 students at Newcastle University have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past week. Twelve members of staff among the university’s 6,500 employees have also had a positive test result for the coronavirus.
He added that modernised plants with increased line speeds have been operating for over two decades and have food safety records that are as good or better than traditional plants.
National Farmers’ Union president Minette Batters said: “A successful farming future rests on how the government shapes trade deals with countries around the world and supports farming in the months and years ahead.”