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FSA: Reduce Nicarbazin Residues in Chicken

by 5m Editor
12 March 2009, at 10:43am

UK - The Food Standards Agency (FSA), British Poultry Council, National Farmers' Union and Veterinary Medicines Directorate, have produced a leaflet to help farm owners and those working on farms reduce nicarbazin residues in chicken through better feed storage and distribution management systems. Nicarbazin is a medicated feed additive used to treat coccidiosis.

According to a pressnote released by the agency, the leaflet was produced following the publication of the joint government and industry report on "Reducing the incidence and levels of nicarbazin residues in British chicken" in May 2008.

The key guidelines in the leaflet are:

  • Ordering and using precisely the required amount of feed containing nicarbazin.
  • If practical, feed bin should be running empty at the end of the grower stage.
  • In the period at least five days before the birds go to slaughter, assuring that the feed bins are empty of feed containing nicarbazin. (The bins should be completely empty when switching to feed that doesn't contain nicarbazin. Failure in emptying the bins will result in a higher risk of residues.)
  • Ensuring no residual feed from previous crops or another farm is being given to birds five days prior to slaughter.

This advice represents the Agency's continued efforts to encourage good practice among poultry farmers to help further increase awareness regarding nicarbazin and encourage industry to follow good practice. The aim is to further reduce the incidence and levels of nicarbazin detected under the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's statutory surveillance programme.

According to FnBnews.com, the Agency considers that the levels of nicarbazin currently found in British chicken do not pose a significant food safety health risk but recognises that consumers expect these residue levels to be kept to a minimum, especially where they are avoidable with good farm practice.