Research – Intervention Strategies to Control Campylobacter at Different Stages of the Food Chain

MDPI

Abstract

Campylobacter is one of the most common bacterial pathogens of food safety concern. Campylobacter jejuni infects chickens by 2–3 weeks of age and colonized chickens carry a high C. jejuni load in their gut without developing clinical disease. Contamination of meat products by gut contents is difficult to prevent because of the high numbers of C. jejuni in the gut, and the large percentage of birds infected. Therefore, effective intervention strategies to limit human infections of C. jejuni should prioritize the control of pathogen transmission along the food supply chain. To this end, there have been ongoing efforts to develop innovative ways to control foodborne pathogens in poultry to meet the growing customers’ demand for poultry meat that is free of foodborne pathogens. In this review, we discuss various approaches that are being undertaken to reduce Campylobacter load in live chickens (pre-harvest) and in carcasses (post-harvest). We also provide some insights into optimization of these approaches, which could potentially help improve the pre- and post-harvest practices for better control of Campylobacter.

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