Campylobacters occur widely as part of the intestinal flora of many warm-blooded animals and birds, particularly chickens and turkeys, and can be carried in animals that are used for food production and in domestic pets. In addition, they also occur in untreated water and raw milk. Evidence indicates that the most important risk factors for food-borne infection are consumption of undercooked poultry (particularly chicken), and other meat, unpasteurised or inadequately pasteurised milk and food that has been cross-contaminated.
Symptoms of infection in humans consist of diarrhoea, sometimes with bloodstained stools, which may last from 2-10 days. The illness is usually self-limiting, but can be severe.
Campylobacters do not grow in food at temperatures below 30OC so control measures should focus on the prevention of contamination and cross-contamination. Thus, experts around the world recognise that the application of HACCP to production, processing and distribution of poultry and other food products is important.
Consumers should be aware of the risk associated with consuming raw or undercooked food of animal origin. This risk can be avoided by consuming only thoroughly cooked meat/poultry, and only pasteurised milk; by obtaining water from approved sources; and by good hygiene in the kitchen. There is a low risk of human infection from close contact with companion dogs or cats, particularly if they suffer from diarrhoea.The Problem
Consequently, undercooked poultry, and to a lesser extent red meat and offal, are potential sources of campylobacter infections. Raw milk and poorly or untreated water supplies are also important potential sources of campylobacter infection. The main known facts about campylobacters, the disease and the preventive measures are given below.
The disease is usually self-limiting, so antibiotic treatment is only indicated in severe cases (Engberg et al, 2001, Guerrant et al, 2001). Complications such as septicaemia, reactive arthritis and Guillain-Barré syndrome (an ascending paralysis) may occur in a low proportion of cases.
In humans, transmission is predominantly via ingestion of contaminated food or water. The main route is thought to be eating undercooked poultry or food cross-contaminated by raw, infected food. Person to person transmission is known but thought to be rare. Household pets with diarrhoea have occasionally been shown to be the source of infection for humans.The Disease in Animals
Survival of Campylobacter Campylobacters do not survive well in food processing environments but they do survive for several months in frozen minced meat and poultry, although freezing kills a substantial proportion of the vegetative cells, and has been used to reduce numbers in raw poultry meat.
Campylobacters are heat-sensitive: for example a ten-fold reduction in count takes approximately 45 seconds at 60º C. Campylobacters are also very sensitive to drying. There is some evidence that campylobacters may survive in a viable but non-culturable form, but the role of this form in transmission is not known. Although campylobacters do not multiply in foods stored at temperatures below 30OC, they may survive for long periods. Survival is better at chill temperatures than it is at ambient temperatures. It is therefore vital to keep campylobacters out of all chilled foods. Irradiation readily destroys campylobacters and could provide a control measure for the future.Growth Characteristics of Campylobacters
Campylobacters appear to die rapidly on dry foods; this is in contrast to the prolonged survival of salmonellae in dried materials. The frequency of human carriers is low and long term carriers are uncommon (Milk may contain campylobacters as a consequence of faecal contamination on the farm. The organism will not survive correct pasteurisation procedures, and outbreaks of human infection associated with milk have generally involved consumption of unpasteurised (or inadequately pasteurised) milk or milk contaminated after pasteurisation. Post-pasteurisation contamination of milk has occurred from bird-pecked milk delivered door-to-door, but this is now rare, as this method of delivery diminishes. Other dairy products do not pose a threat because of the organisms’ low resistance to reduced pH or water activity.Control
Hygiene measures and biosecurity can be used to reduce the incidence of the organisms in/on poultry that is reared intensively (but not poultry reared outdoors) on the farm. Controls and decontamination during processing can reduce the numbers of campylobacters on carcasses, but at present raw poultry is likely to be contaminated with these bacteria.
Cross-contamination from raw poultry can occur in household kitchens and in commercial catering, and has been shown to be an important factor in about 30% of outbreaks (ILSI, 2006). Consumers are advised not to wash poultry carcasses or joints, as this process will spread contaminated water droplets in the kitchen. To minimise contamination of the kitchen environment and cross-contamination of foods, separate surfaces should be used for raw poultry and for other foods, work surfaces should be cleaned thoroughly, re-usable dishcloths should not be used, and people should wash utensils etc and wash their hands thoroughly and dry them thoroughly after handling raw meat or poultry.
Consumers should be aware of the risk of eating raw or under-cooked food of animal origin; they should be advised to avoid unpasteurised milk, to cook meat/poultry thoroughly and to obtain water only from approved sources. How to use good hygiene to prevent cross contamination from surfaces and utensils used in the preparation of raw poultry in the kitchen must also be highlighted through better education in safe food handling.
Contact with the faeces of diarrhoeal pets should be avoided and, if possible, animals should be kept out of the kitchen.
Susanne Surman-Lee | alfa
Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction