Let’s beat campylobacter

Sir, Back in 2014 we asked the major retailers and other stakeholders to sign our Acting on Campylobacter Together pledge. Most signed on the day or subsequently. In doing so, the signatories pledged to work with us to dramatically cut campylobacter levels in chicken.

There have been real benefits - not least that it looks good for the pledgers. Not everyone signed up in 2014, but there’s still time to get on this bus.

We’re also asking the food industry to publish the information it collects on campylobacter levels. Then we can deliver on our pledge to “share legally all information we have that could help make a difference”.

Steve Wearne, director of policy, Food Standards Agency

Antibiotic labels warning

Sir, Having read your article ‘Antibiotic-free meat label on horizon as industry cracks down on drugs’ (18 June, p51), it is important to highlight a growing concern with regard to the labelling of meat in this way.

It has the potential to be highly misleading to consumers who may take it to mean that meat without this label contains antibiotics. In fact, farmers must adhere to strict withdrawal periods for medicines before allowing the animal to enter the food chain. The risk of exposure to antibiotics via animal products is extremely low.

The trend towards marketing meat as ‘antibiotic-free’ must not compromise farmers’ ability to treat their livestock, nor contribute towards confusion among consumers.

Dr Georgina Crayford, senior policy adviser, NPA

Fat content choice

Sir, I read with great interest the online ‘10 things You Need To Know About… Dairy’ feature.

I was particularly interested in the statistics from the ‘18% of young say full fat milk is healthiest’ section. We are proud to offer a wide range of products that differ in fat content. Our natural yoghurt range contains very low levels of fat. However, we also produce Greek-style yoghurt that contains 10% fat.

The recent report by the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration indicates that people who are trying to follow low-fat diets and lower their cholesterol will see “disastrous health consequences”. Fat content preferences will vary, so offering a choice allows people to make an informed decision.

Azhar Zouq, MD, Lancashire Farm Dairies

Cut packaging waste too!

Sir, It’s been interesting to follow your food waste campaign.

We need to look not only at food waste but at waste produced from all areas of the processing and distribution process. The penultimate step of your food hierarchy suggests unavoidable food waste can be used to produce bio-fertiliser and energy. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could do that with our packaging waste too?

Compostable flexible food packaging now allows for a new era where for the first time there are viable end-of life solutions.

Daphna Nissenbaum, CEO, TIPA