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Regulators, processors, manufacturers and retailers in the United Kingdom have joined forces to reduce the cases of campylobacter contamination of raw poultry meat across the entire supply chain.

The Joint Working Group on Campylobacter Reduction, which includes representatives of the British Poultry Council, the National Farmers' Union (NFU), the British Retail Consortium, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), has been working on developing strategies and policies to tackle campylobacter since 2009. The latest update on the progress made will be revealed later this month, when the government-industry group holds its conference at the NFU headquarters on March 28.

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According to Bob Martin, head of foodborne illness strategy at the FSA, campylobacter is still the most common cause of food poisoning in the United Kingdom, so a thorough approach to deal with the problem is required. It is important that every stage of the food chain is explored and solutions that will have a real impact on food poisoning protection are identified.

The panel is currently running a series of research projects that aim to establish the most effective and the least effective practices implemented on farms, in processing plants and during packaging. Another aspect on which the joint group will focus is raising consumer awareness on the correct way of handling raw poultry meat, World Poultry reported.