raw chicken

Sir, Despite the FSA reporting a drop, from 9.3% to 6.5%, in chickens tested positive for the highest level of contamination (carrying more than 1,000 colony forming units per gram) since last year, traces of campylobacter were recently found in cooked chicken at Tesco. This proves the importance of not letting complacency take hold, and shows firms must look beyond their own internal practices and to their suppliers to ensure they are doing all they can to remove any threats to products.

Food sellers can’t let their guard down and must be constantly engaging in ways to remove threats within their supply chain. Supermarkets should be open and explicit with their suppliers and adopt a thorough line of inquiry, and if their responses are not satisfactory they must be prepared to review agreements and potentially walk away.

Effective supply chain management controls the people, organisations, activities, information and resources that go into moving a product or service from concept to store shelf. Effectively implemented, that product will be delivered with the right documentation, in the right quantity, at the right quality, to the right place, at the right time.

Fortunately, Tesco was quick to protect its customers, but failure of supermarkets to take proactive control of their supply chains will lead to them alienating themselves from their customers. They need to make sure they are constantly reviewing processes and making active, continuous steps to improve food safety and quality.

Nick Miller, associate director, Crimson & Co