Category Archives: campylobacter coli

RASFF Alert – Campylobacter – Chicken Fillet


Salmonella and Campylobacter in chicken fillet from Hungary in Austria

Research – Molecular Epidemiological Evidence Implicates Cattle as a Primary Reservoir of Campylobacter jejuni Infecting People via Contaminated Chickens


CDC Campy

The study aimed to determine the relative contribution of cattle to the burden of illness in a model agroecosystem with high rates of human campylobacteriosis (≥ 115 cases/100 K), and high densities of cattle, including large numbers of cattle housed in confined feeding operations (i.e., in southwestern Alberta, Canada).
To accomplish this, a large-scale molecular epidemiological analysis of Campylobacter jejuni circulating within the study location was completed. In excess of 8000 isolates of C. jejuni from people (n = 2548 isolates), chickens (n = 1849 isolates), cattle (n = 2921 isolates), and water (n = 771 isolates) were subtyped.
In contrast to previous studies, the source attribution estimates of clinical cases attributable to cattle vastly exceeded those attributed to chicken (i.e., three- to six-fold). Moreover, cattle were often colonized by C. jejuni (51%) and shed the bacterium in their feces.
A large proportion of study isolates were found in subtypes primarily associated with cattle (46%), including subtypes infecting people and those associated with chickens (19%). The implication of cattle as a primary amplifying reservoir of C. jejuni subtypes in circulation in the study location is supported by the strong cattle association with subtypes that were found in chickens and in people, a lack of evidence indicating the foodborne transmission of C. jejuni from beef and dairy, and the large number of cattle and the substantial quantities of untreated manure containing C. jejuni cells.
Importantly, the evidence implicated cattle as a source of C. jejuni infecting people through a transmission pathway from cattle to people via the consumption of chicken. This has implications for reducing the burden of campylobacteriosis in the study location and elsewhere. View Full-Text

Research team work on a rapid test for foodborne pathogens in poultry

Poultry World

A research team at Michigan State University will use a grant from the USDA to develop a rapid biosensor test for foodborne pathogens. The rapid test will be used onsite at poultry farms and processing facilities to inspect large samples for Salmonella and Campylobacter.

The US$769,000 grant was received from the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and Professor Evangelyn Alocilja, who is in the MSU Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, is leading the project. She is an expert in her field and in rapid biosensing diagnostics for infectious and antimicrobial-resistant diseases, having developed such tests for tuberculosis, dengue and Covid-19.

Poultry products are one of the most common sources of infection

Alocilja says that studies have shown poultry products are one of the most common sources of infection due to bacterial contamination from farm production practices and processing equipment. In the US, the economic burden of Salmonella and Campylobacter from all sources exceeded US$6 billion in 2018, according to the USDA Economic Research Service.

Research – Influence of commercial laying hen housing systems on the incidence and identification of Salmonella and Campylobacter

Science Direct

Foodborne Pathogen


The housing of laying hens is important for social, industrial, and regulatory aspects. Many studies have compared hen housing systems on the research farm, but few have fully examined commercial housing systems and management strategies. The current study compared hens housed in commercial cage-free aviary, conventional cage, and enriched colony cage systems. Environmental and eggshell pool samples were collected from selected cages/segments of the housing systems throughout the production cycle and monitored for Salmonella and Campylobacter prevalence. At 77 wk of age, 120 hens per housing system were examined for Salmonella and Campylobacter colonization in the: adrenal glands, spleen, ceca, follicles, and upper reproductive tract. All isolates detected from environmental swabs, eggshell pools, and tissues were identified for serotype. Two predominant Salmonella were detected in all samples: S. Braenderup and S. Kentucky. Campylobacter coli and C. jejuni were the only Campylobacter detected in the flocks. Across all housing systems, approximately 7% of hens were colonized with Salmonella, whereas > 90% were colonized with CampylobacterSalmonella Braenderup was the isolate most frequently detected in environmental swabs (P < 0.0001) and housing system impacted Salmonella spp. shedding (P < 0.0001). Campylobacter jejuni was the isolate most frequently found in environmental swabs (P < 0.01), while housing system impacted the prevalence of C. coli and jejuni in ceca (P < 0.0001). The results of this study provide a greater understanding of the impact of hen housing systems on hen health and product safety. Additionally, producers and academia can utilize the findings to make informed decisions on hen housing and management strategies to enhance hen health and food safety.

USA – Health Department Probing Possible Foodborne Illness Outbreak In Brooklyn


Campylobacter kswfoodworld

City health officials are investigating a potential outbreak of campylobacter, a bacterial infection that causes flu-like stomach symptoms.

City health officials are investigating a potential outbreak in Brooklyn of campylobacter, a bacterial infection that causes flu-like stomach symptoms.

Campylobacter is a gastrointestinal bug that can come from eating raw or undercooked poultry or something that comes in contact with it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People can also get it from contact with animals that carry the bacteria and by drinking contaminated water.

In Brooklyn, health officials said approximately 50 cases have been reported in the borough since the start of the month. A spokesperson for the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) declined to detail which neighborhoods have seen the spike.

Research – Quantitative Determination Of Campylobacter On Broilers Along 22 UK Processing Lines, To Identify Potential Process Control Points and Cross-contamination From Colonized To Uncolonized Flocks

Journal of Food Protection

As part of a program to reduce numbers of the human pathogen Campylobacter on retail chickens twenty-two broiler processing lines, representing over 90% of United Kingdom (UK) production, were characterized by enumerating Campylobacter on pooled neck skins after the exsanguination, scalding, defeathering, evisceration, crop removal, inside-outside washing, and air-chilling stages of processing.  Sixteen of the processing lines investigated showed significant (p<0.05) reductions in Campylobacter numbers because of carcass scalding.  However, in all these lines, the following defeathering stage caused a significant increase in Campylobacter contamination that effectively negated the reductions caused by scalding.  On four processing lines, primary chilling also caused a significant reduction in numbers of Campylobacter.  On three lines, there was a significant microbiological benefit from inside-outside (I/O) washing.  The stages where Campylobacter numbers were reduced require further investigations to determine the specific mechanisms responsible so that the observed pathogen reductions can be optimized, and more widely implemented. The transfer of up to 4 log cfu Campylobacter per gram of neck skin from a colonized flock to a following uncolonized flock was observed.  The cross contamination was substantial and still detectable after 5,000 carcasses from an uncolonized flock had been processed.  The numbers of Campylobacter recovered from the uncolonized flocks were highest on the first of the uncolonized birds to pass along the line and, in general, numbers fell as more uncolonized birds were processed.  Air sampling recovered low numbers at the processing stages monitored, indicating that airborne transmission was unlikely to be the primary transfer mechanism operating for cross-contamination between flocks.

UK – AMR in Campylobacter in UK chicken over the last 20 years


Campylobacter kswfoodworld

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published a report analysing 20 years of data on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Campylobacter from retail chicken in the UK.

The study aimed to assess any trends during this 20-year period and provides a baseline against which to evaluate future, hoped-for reductions in AMR.

AMR is when bacteria adapt to become resistant to the killing effects of antimicrobials, such as antibiotics. This resistance subsequently makes such infections in humans more difficult to treat using drugs.  AMR can develop in any bacteria, including Campylobacter. Campylobacter is the main cause of bacterial food poisoning in the developed world and it is estimated that there are in excess of half a million cases annually in the UK.

The FSA’s Science lead in Microbiological Risk Assessment, Dr Paul Cook, said:

“While the data shows a marked increase in AMR in Campylobacter to certain antimicrobials, it is encouraging that there has been no significant increase in resistance since 2014.

“Any increase of AMR in Campylobacter is a concern and continued surveillance is essential. We will continue to carry out AMR surveillance in chicken and other meats and to monitor any long-term trends in resistance, while promoting good food hygiene practice to reduce exposure to AMR bacteria and protect consumer safety.”

Since its formation in 2000, the FSA has commissioned several UK-wide retail surveys and sampling studies that involved testing for Campylobacter in chicken. A significant proportion of the Campylobacter isolates detected were further tested to assess resistance to a range of antimicrobials.

Key findings from this report vary between the five main types of antimicrobial drugs included in the study. Resistance to quinolones (ciprofloxacin and nalidixic acid) and tetracycline was common in the most prevalent types of Campylobacter from chicken (Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli). In comparison, resistance to erythromycin and streptomycin was much rarer in the Campylobacter isolates examined.  Gentamicin resistance was very rare.

There are effective ways for consumers to reduce exposure to AMR bacteria. This includes cleaning surfaces properly, cooking food thoroughly, chilling food at the correct temperature and handling food hygienically so it doesn’t cross contaminate other foods or surfaces. For any fruit or vegetables consumed raw, make sure they are washed thoroughly or peeled as this will help to remove any visible dirt or bacterial contamination.

For more information on AMR, including an ‘FSA Explains’ video, visit our dedicated AMR webpage. The research report is available on our research pages.

Research – Pulsed Light Application for Campylobacter Control on Poultry Meat and Its Effect on Colour and Volatile Profile


Campylobacter on poultry meat needs to be controlled to reduce the risk of infection caused by the consumption of chicken meat. Pulsed light (PL) application on poultry meat was studied to control Campylobacter spp. The effect of this technology was evaluated regarding poultry meat colour and volatile compound changes. Two breast sample groups were prepared: inoculated with Campylobacter (107 bacteria of Campylobacter jejuni strains) and not inoculated. Samples were submitted to PL, five pulses/s of 300 ms, 1 Hz, and 1 J/cm2 in the apparatus, PL Tecum unit (Claranor). A response surface experimental design was applied regarding the factors of voltage (1828 to 3000 W) and distance to the source UV lamp (2.6 to 5.4 cm). The binomial factorial treatment (voltage and distance) with PL induced different energy doses (fluence J/cm2) received by samples, 2.82 to 9.67 J/cm2. Poultry meat pulsed light treated had a significant decrease of Enterobacteriaceae counts. The treatments applied were unable to reduce 1 log Campylobacter cfu/g of poultry meat. The poultry meat PL treated became slightly light, redder, and yellower than those not treated. PL can decrease the proportion of aldehydes on total volatiles in meat, particularly on those associated with chicken-like, chicken skin-like, and sweet odour notes in fresh poultry meat. Further studies of PL with higher energy doses will be necessary to confirm if there are Campylobacter reductions and about poultry meat treated under storage to evaluate if volatile compounds can affect the flavour of PL-treated meat samples. View Full-Text

RASFF Alert – Campylobacter – Chicken


Campylobacter in chicken from Hungary in Austria

USA – Illinois county reports outbreak of infections from Campylobacter

Food Safety News

Campylobacter kswfoodworld

The McHenry County Department of Health in Illinois is reporting a significant increase in infections from Campylobacter.

Health officials have identified eight cases of campylobacteriosis with illness onsets between Aug. 17 and Aug. 30. That is four times more cases compared to the previous two weeks and 3.33 times more cases in August compared to July.

“No common source of infection has been identified at this time,” according to the health department.

Campylobacter bacteria is the most common cause of bacterial diarrhea in the United States, according to the county health officials. People can become ill with campylobacteriosis by eating contaminated food, drinking contaminated water or having contact with infected animals.