One in three people is at risk of catching the potentially lethal food poisoning bug campylobacter in their lifetime, food watchdogs have warned.
The alarming figure comes from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which estimates that 280,000 people fall ill with the UK’s most common cause of food poisoning each year.
Most recover after two or three days of stomach problems, however the bug can cause complications, including paralysis and even death with some 100 fatalities a year.
Added to the human misery is a bill of £900million in terms of the cost of NHS treatment and lost productivity due to people being off work sick.
Research by the food watchdog has found that around seven in ten of all chickens sold by the major supermarkets are contaminated with the bug and around one in five at a high level.
It has named and shamed the stores responsible and told them they must take action to keep campylobacter out of chicken and stop selling food that is putting customers at risk.