14th September 2011
Phantom Screens can help protect your flock
Food poisoning and contamination of areas where food is made has become an increasing problem but government bodies say fly screens can stop the spread of harmful bacteria leading to better food hygiene and security.
In 2010 there were around 85,000 cases of food poisoning, and that's only the reported cases according to the NHS. Only cases with the worst symptoms get reported but the reality is that there are far more cases that simply go unreported due to less severe symptoms.
One of the main causes of food poisoning in the UK are campylobacter strains. This is a type of bacteria that translates literally as "twisted bacteria", a clear sign that it's not pleasant. This is carried by flies from local ruminant faeces and into areas of food preparation and is all too common in poultry.
The UK is home to the two largest poultry breeding companies in the world, who are responsible for 80% of global poultry breeding stocks. Increases in the campylobacter strains have led the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council or BBSRC to work with the Food Standards Agency and the Department for Environmental Food and Rural Affairs or DEFRA to implement 12 projects to tackle the strain. These projects are being carried out to ensure food is sustainable, nutritious and most of all safe.
Project 11 is being carried out by the Scottish Agricultural College and will look at on-farm biosecurity measures to control Campylobacter using water treatments and also hygiene barriers or fly screens, which have all been identified to reduce the prevalence of the strain responsible for food poisoning.
Now we know not everyone has a commercial farm or stocks of poultry to worry about but on a domestic level a fly screen can protect your food preparation areas by stopping flies that are carrying harmful bacteria from coming into your home and dining out on food that is being lovingly made for you and your family.