Aims:When isolating Campylobacter spp. from retail raw chicken using BS EN ISO 10272-1:2006, contaminants frequently cause overgrowth on mCCDA plates. Therefore, these organisms proliferate in the enrichment medium, Bolton broth, indicating a lack of selectivity in this medium. This study sought to characterize the contaminant flora and to devise a modified Bolton broth to inhibit their growth.Methods and results:Contaminants (n = 30) from separate samples were identified and antibiotic resistances determined. Most (93%) were extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producing Escherichia coli, able to hydrolyse the cefoperazone present in Bolton broth and mCCDA. To inhibit these organisms, original formulation Bolton broth was supplemented with potassium clavulanate, at three concentrations, and recoveries of campylobacters from raw chicken were determined. Using standard Bolton broth, only 49% of samples (n = 104) yielded campylobacters, but supplementation with 2 mg l-1 potassium clavulanate increased this significantly (P < 0 center dot 05), with 91% of samples positive.Conclusions:Potassium clavulanate can restore the selectivity of Bolton broth when isolating Campylobacter spp. from raw chicken.Significance and Impact of the Study:Raw chicken is often contaminated with the pathogen Campylobacter, but the ISO methodology for its detection is becoming compromised by the increasing presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A simple modification ensures effective detection of this pathogen.