supermarket chicken food poisoning

Food Poisoning From Supermarket Chicken?

Can You Get Food Poisoning From Supermarket Chicken?

The short answer to this question is unfortunately yes, you can get food poisoning from supermarket chicken. But you can take steps to prevent this happening.

Why am I at risk from Supermarket Chicken?

 Camplyobacter is one of the bacteria that causes food poisoning.  It can be easily transferred from one chicken to another. The supermarkets’ demand for uniform weight and size are at the root of the problem.

What is the Problem and Why is it Not being sorted out by the Supermarkets?

A recent study by a Government Adviser and safety expert concluded one of the main causes of contamination is the way that chickens are ‘thinned’. Thinning is where slaughter-weight chickens are removed from the rest of the flock in the farm shed.

Each time a worker enters the sheds to carry out thinning there is a risk of cross-contamination from affected birds to ‘clean’ birds. 

How Can the Problem of Thinning be Solved?

Supermarkets don’t object to their producers using Thinning because it allows them to pack as many birds into a small space as possible. Thinning also allows uniformity of bird weight, which is thus easier to package.

However, supermarkets that have stopped their producers ‘thinning’ have reduced contamination levels. If this was introduced across the board there would be a substantial reduction in the risk of food poisoning from supermarket chickens..

Why Are All Supermarkets Not stopping Thinning?

Supermarkets are unfortunately reluctant to bring in the changes in production required because of the cost involved. Experts estimate that stopping thinning would make chickens cost around 10p more. However even this small amount can make a difference and no supermarket wishes to lose sales. 

So the supermarkets’ battle for customers is putting us all at risk.

Three Steps To Avoid Supermarket Chicken Food Poisoning

When you prepare your supermarket chicken you can reduce poisoning risks by doing the following:

  1. Make sure the chicken is in date.
  2. Ensure that you wash your hands fully after touching fresh chicken.
  3. Make sure your bird is fully cooked. This is particularly important if you’re cooking a frozen chicken.

Further details on this can be obtained on

What Can I do If I think I have Food Poisoning from Supermarket Chicken?

Early medical advice is vital. If possible keep the receipt to prove purchase. Then speak to a specialist Solicitor like us. We are experts in Food Poisoning claims.

For free initial advice please call 01535 958 778, email us, or use the contact form on this page.
We want to ensure that you get every penny of the compensation you are entitled to. We’ll do this as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Find out more about making a food poisoning claim