Category Archives: Campylobacter

Research – Assessing the microbiological safety status of most commonly consumed food items sold at local and branded restaurants of Faisalabad, Pakistan

Wiley Online Library


The current study was designed to assess the microbial safety status of rice and chicken dishes offered for sale at various local and branded restaurants. Purposely, 24 samples of rice and chicken dishes were collected from eight local and branded restaurants of Faisalabad city. All the collected samples were subjected to microbiological examination to determine the prevalence and comparative enumeration of Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli (rice), Salmonella and Campylobacter (chicken). Results pertaining to the enumeration of B. cereus and E. coli exhibited highest count of 2.12 × 108 and 2.59 × 107 cfu/g, respectively. Both strains were found to be higher among the samples collected from branded restaurants. Likewise for chicken dishes, the highest count observed for Salmonella and Campylobacter were 2.50 × 107 and 1.87 × 108 cfu/g, respectively. Further, the results of current study revealed that 38% of rice samples collected from local restaurants and 63% from branded restaurants have unsatisfactory safety status for B. cereus. Similarly, for E. coli, 63 and 42% samples were found unsatisfactory from local and branded restaurants, respectively. On the other hand, the percentage of chicken samples with unacceptable safety status according to Salmonella and Campylobacter standards were 46 & 58% and 54 & 46% for local and branded restaurants, respectively.

Practical applications

Safe handling of food during preparation and adherence to the food safety principles are key factors in determining the safety of food served at any restaurant. The study focused on previously unreported microbial safety status of some commonly sold food items at local and branded restaurants. The results and suggestions of this study will help the food handlers and regulatory bodies to map out the potential gaps in food supply chain to reduce the incidence of microbial contamination in cooked food items. The study will provide guidance for the restaurant industry to improve the overall safety of cooked foods by taking the corrective measures in the light of results presented in this article.

UK – Scotland – Annual summary of Campylobacter infections, 2018

HPS Scotland

During 2018, 6096 laboratory reports of Campylobacter were received by HPS. This was an increase of 301 (5.2%) compared to 2017 when 5795 isolates were reported. This
is the second consecutive year reports of Campylobacter have increased following a decline in reports of Campylobacter in 2015 and 2016. Despite the increase in reports in 2018, the number remains below the peak of 6636 reports in 2014.

Research – Population Genetics and Characterisation of Campylobacter jejuni Isolates from Western Jackdaws and Game Birds in Finland

American Society of Microbiology


Poultry are considered a major reservoir and source of human campylobacteriosis, but the roles of environmental reservoirs, including wild birds, have not been assessed in depth. In this study, we isolated and characterized Campylobacter jejuni from western jackdaws (n = 91, 43%), mallard ducks (n = 82, 76%), and pheasants (n = 9, 9%). Most of the western jackdaw and mallard duck C. jejuni isolates represented multilocus sequence typing (MLST) sequence types (STs) that diverged from those previously isolated from human patients and various animal species, whereas all pheasant isolates represented ST-19, a common ST among human patients and other hosts worldwide. Whole-genome MLST revealed that mallard duck ST-2314 and pheasant ST-19 isolates represented bacterial clones that were genetically highly similar to human isolates detected previously. Further analyses revealed that in addition to a divergent ClonalFrame genealogy, certain genomic characteristics of the western jackdaw C. jejuniisolates, e.g., a novel cdtABC gene cluster and the type VI secretion system (T6SS), may affect their host specificity and virulence. Game birds may thus pose a risk for acquiring campylobacteriosis; therefore, hygienic measures during slaughter and meat handling warrant special attention.

IMPORTANCE The roles of environmental reservoirs, including wild birds, in the molecular epidemiology of Campylobacter jejuni have not been assessed in depth. Our results showed that game birds may pose a risk for acquiring campylobacteriosis, because they had C. jejuni genomotypes highly similar to human isolates detected previously. Therefore, hygienic measures during slaughter and meat handling warrant special attention. On the contrary, a unique phylogeny was revealed for the western jackdaw isolates, and certain genomic characteristics identified among these isolates are hypothesized to affect their host specificity and virulence. Comparative genomics within sequence types (STs), using whole-genome multilocus sequence typing (wgMLST), and phylogenomics are efficient methods to analyze the genomic relationships of C. jejuni isolates.

UK – Levels of AMR Campylobacter in retail chickens remain steady


Levels of AMR Campylobacter in retail chickens remain steady

We have published the Year 3 results of a survey to identify the proportion of Campylobacter isolated from the FSA’s UK retail chicken survey that were resistant to a range of antimicrobial agents.

The survey tested a subset of the Campylobacter isolates (Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli strains) from Year 3 of the UK retail chicken survey for AMR. Analysis was carried out between August 2016 and July 2017 during which 585 Campylobacter isolates from samples of whole, UK-produced, fresh chicken were tested.


The development and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a concern worldwide. The use of antibiotics is important in treating infections and preventing disease from arising in both animals and humans. However, the overuse and/or misuse of antibiotics in both animal husbandry and healthcare settings has been linked to the emergence and spread of microorganisms which are resistant to them, rendering treatment ineffective and posing a risk to public health.

The transmission of AMR microorganisms through the food chain is thought to be one of the routes by which people are exposed to AMR bacteria. However, there is uncertainty around the contribution food makes to the problem of AMR in human infections.

This report presents AMR data for a subset of Campylobacter isolates collected as part of the survey of Campylobacter contamination in fresh whole UK-produced chilled chickens at retail sale. There is a continued need to monitor the prevalence and types of AMR bacteria in retail chicken and other foods to inform a baseline and also the risk to public health.

What the results show

Read the report: AMR in Campylobacter from retail chilled chicken in the UK (Year 3: 2016-17)

Overall, the proportions of AMR Campylobacter isolates found in this study were similar to those reported in the previous survey year (July 2015 to July 2016), although the percentage of C. coli isolates with resistance to erythromycin was lower. Multi-drug resistance was similar to that found in the previous survey years.

Differences in levels of ciprofloxacin and tetracycline resistance for isolates from standard and free-range birds were examined. There were no differences within C. jejuni isolates but a higher proportion of C. coli isolates from free-range chickens were resistant, compared to isolates recovered from standard chickens. However, relatively few isolates were tested and this result has not been found in previous surveys.

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

‘While there is evidence that AMR Campylobacter is present on whole fresh chickens sold at retail in the UK, the risk of getting AMR-related infections through eating or preparing contaminated meat remains very low as long as you follow good hygiene and cooking practices.

‘Tackling AMR is a significant priority for the FSA and across UK Government. This survey allows us to monitor AMR Campylobacter in retail chickens over time and overall results have remained stable.’

Year 3 Campylobacter retail chicken survey

The FSA has also published the Year 3 report for the UK retail chicken survey. This report collates the data for August 2016-July 2017 which has previously been published quarterly.

Compared to previous years of the retail survey, the report shows that the average proportion of fresh, whole chicken at retail sale in the UK that are contaminated with a high level of Campylobacter decreased considerably for this period.

Consumer advice

Chicken is safe as long as you follow good hygiene and cooking practices.

  • cover raw chicken and store at the bottom of the fridge so juices cannot drip onto other foods and contaminate them with food poisoning bacteria such as Campylobacter
  • don’t wash raw chicken – thorough cooking will kill any bacteria present, including Campylobacter, while washing chicken can spread germs by splashing
  • thoroughly wash and clean all utensils, chopping boards and surfaces used to prepare raw chicken
  • wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water, after handling raw chicken – this helps stop the spread of Campylobacter by avoiding cross-contamination
  • make sure chicken is cooked thoroughly and steaming hot all the way through before serving. Cut into the thickest part of the meat and check that it is steaming hot with no pink meat and that the juices run clear.

UK – Scotland – Microbiological survey of minced beef on sale in Scotland


Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and partners, in collaboration with public analysis laboratories, will conduct a comprehensive survey of the microbiological pathogens STEC (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli), Campylobacter, Salmonella and hygiene indicator organisms (generic E. coli and aerobic colony counts) in minced beef across Scotland. All of the pathogens detected and a subset of 100 isolates of generic E. coli will be tested for antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The primary objective of the survey is to generate baseline data on the prevalence of pathogens and hygiene indicator organisms in minced beef on retail sale. A secondary objective is to see if there are any patterns in variation, such as seasonal changes, in order to identify any risk factors associated with microbiological contamination.

The survey will be carried out between January and December 2019 and the results and analysis are due to be published by summer 2020.

Source: Food Standards Scotland, 23 January 2019

Vol: 53 No: 04 Year: 2019 Type: Current Note

Research – Potential for Prebiotics as Feed Additives to Limit Foodborne Campylobacter Establishment in the Poultry Gastrointestinal Tract

Frontiers In

Campylobacter as an inhabitant of the poultry gastrointestinal tract has proven to be difficult to reduce with most feed additives. The use of in-feed antibiotics have been taken out of poultry diets due to the negative reactions of consumer along with concerns regarding the generation of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Consequently, interest in alternative feed amendments to antibiotics has grown. One of these alternatives, prebiotics has been examined as a potential animal and poultry feed additive. Prebiotics are non-digestible ingredients that enhance growth of indigenous gastrointestinal bacteria that elicit metabolic characteristics which are considered beneficial to the host. In addition, these compounds support microbial activities in the gastrointestinal tract that are antagonistic to the establishment of pathogens. There are several carbohydrate polymers that qualify as prebiotics and have been fed to poultry. These include mannoligosaccharides and fructooligosaccharides as the most common ones marketed commercially that have been used as feed supplements in poultry. More recently several non-digestible oligosaccharides have also been identified as possessing prebiotic properties when implemented as feed supplements. While prebiotics appear to be generally effective in poultry and limit establishment of foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella in the gastrointestinal tract, less is known about their impact on Campylobacter. This review will focus on the potential of prebiotics to limit establishment of Campylobacter in the poultry gastrointestinal tract and future research directions.

Switzerland – Be careful eating Chinese fondue, says Swiss food safety agency – Campylobacter

Le News  Campylobacter_jejuni_01


Chinese fondue is a culinary crossover between two nations. A dish that exists in both China and Switzerland. The Swiss version retains the communal pot of hot broth, thinly sliced raw meat and Chinese mushrooms of the original but departs radically in terms of flavour.

According to the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO), food poisoning rises at the end of the year, something partly attributable to Chinese fondue. Raw chicken, and its high rate of campylobacter contamination, is the main cause. In general meat is the most likely source of food poisoning, according to FSVO, and men between 18 and 30 are the most likely to get poisoned.