About a quarter of the products studied in a microbiological analysis of high-risk foods in Scotland have "unsatisfactory" levels of bacteria, according to the FSA Scotland.

A report shows 23.8% of foods sent to the lab from a mix of retail and catering outlets failed acceptable quality and safety levels. The worst offenders were meats, where out of 1,720 samples, 455 (26.5%) were found to be unsatisfactory. Salmonella was found in three samples of raw chicken. Campylobacter was in 83 samples of raw chicken, two samples of raw liver and two of fresh lamb.

An FSAS spokeswoman stressed that the tests were carried out on products with a higher risk of contamination and did not reflect general food quality in Scotland.

" Lots of bugs get on meat during slaughtering," said Hugh Pennington, professor of microbiology at Aberdeen University. "The best thing the public can do is to go to a shop they trust."

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