Category Archives: Campylobacter

Research – Outbreak of Fluoroquinolone-Resistant Campylobacter jejuni Infections Associated with Raw Milk Consumption from a Herdshare Dairy — Colorado, 2016



In August 2016, a local public health agency (LPHA) notified the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) of two culture-confirmed cases of Campylobacter infection among persons who consumed raw (unpasteurized) milk from the same herdshare dairy. In Colorado, the sale of raw milk is illegal; however, herdshare programs, in which a member can purchase a share of a herd of cows or goats, are legal and are not regulated by state or local authorities. In coordination with LPHAs, CDPHE conducted an outbreak investigation that identified 12 confirmed and five probable cases of Campylobacter jejuni infection. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns for the 10 cases with available isolates were identical using the enzyme Sma. In addition, two milk samples (one from the dairy and one obtained from an ill shareholder) also tested positive for the outbreak strain. Five C. jejuni isolates sent to CDC for antimicrobial susceptibility testing were resistant to ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, and nalidixic acid (1). Although shareholders were notified of the outbreak and cautioned against drinking the milk on multiple occasions, milk distribution was not discontinued. Although its distribution is legal through herdshare programs, drinking raw milk is inherently risky (2). The role of public health in implementing control measures associated with a product that is known to be unsafe remains undefined.

UK – Scotland – Understanding the sources of human Campylobacter infection in Scotland

Food Standards Scotland 


Research published today shows that chicken remains the biggest source of campylobacter infection in Scotland.

We commissioned the University of Aberdeen to compare clinical strains of campylobacter from the Grampian area with strains isolated from chickens, cattle, sheep, pigs and wild birds. This was used to determine the proportion of infections in Scotland from these potential sources.

While campylobacter remains the most common source of foodborne illness there has been a reduction in those contracting campylobacter from chicken. The proportion of cases attributed to chicken decreased from 55-75% to 52-68% when compared to data collected between 2012-2015.

Research – Foodborne illness source attribution estimates for 2013 for Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter using multi-year outbreak surveillance data, United States


Executive Summary

Each year in the United States an estimated 9 million people get sick, 56,000 are hospitalized, and 1,300 die of foodborne disease caused by known pathogens. These estimates help us understand the scope of this public health problem. However, to develop effective prevention measures, we need to understand the types of foods contributing to the problem.

The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) is a tri-agency group created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS). Based on a new method, IFSAC developed foodborne illness source attribution estimates for 2012 using outbreak data from 1998 through 2012 for four priority pathogens, Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter. IFSAC described this method and the estimates for 2012 in a report and at a public meeting.

IFSAC derived the estimates for 2013 using the same method used for the 2012 estimates, with some modifications. The data came from 1,043 foodborne disease outbreaks that occurred from 1998 through 2013 and for which each confirmed or suspected implicated food fell into a single food category. The method relies most heavily on the most recent five years of outbreak data (2009–2013). Foods are categorized using a scheme IFSAC created to classify foods into 17 categories that closely align with the U.S. food regulatory agencies’ classification needs.


UK – FSA Calls for Tender – Campylobacter in Scotland

FSA food_standards_agency_logo

Proposals are sought for research that investigates the factors affecting variations in Campylobacter disease rates in Scotland. Specifically the FSA is looking to commission research that will significantly improve our understanding whether deprivation continues to have a protective effect on the levels of Campylobacter infection and if so what factors are likely to be contributing to this effect. The FSA would like to know what factors are most likely to influence rates of Campylobacter infection in different socioeconomic groups in Scotland.

Research Netherlands – Microbial Risk in Produce


The objective of this study was to evaluate the microbial hazard associated with the consumption of mixed salads produced under standard conditions. The presence of Salmonella, Campylobacter spp., and Escherichia coli O157 in the Dutch production chain of mixed salads was determined. Microbial prevalence and concentration data from a microbiological surveillance study were used as inputs for the quantitative microbial risk assessment. Chain logistics, production figures, and consumption patterns were combined with the survey data for the risk assessment chain approach. The results of the sample analysis were used to track events from contamination through human illness. Wide 95% confidence intervals around the mean were found for estimated annual numbers of illnesses resulting from the consumption of mixed salads contaminated with Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 (0 to 10,300 cases), Campylobacter spp. (0 to 92,000 cases), or E. coli (0 to 800 cases). The main sources of uncertainty are the lack of decontamination data (i.e., produce washing during processing) and an appropriate dose-response relationship.


Recent outbreaks with vegetable or fruits as vehicles have raised interest in the characterization of the public health risk due to microbial contamination of these commodities. Because qualitative and quantitative data regarding prevalence and concentration of various microbes are lacking, we conducted a survey to estimate the prevalence and contamination level of raw produce and the resulting minimally processed packaged salads as sold in The Netherlands. A dedicated sampling plan accounted for the amount of processed produce in relation to the amount of products, laboratory capacity, and seasonal influences. Over 1,800 samples of produce and over 1,900 samples of ready-to-eat mixed salads were investigated for Salmonella enterica serovars, Campylobacter spp., Escherichia coli O157, and Listeria monocytogenes. The overall prevalence in raw produce varied between 0.11% for E. coli O157 and L. monocytogenes and 0.38% for Salmonella. Prevalence point estimates for specific produce/pathogen combinations ranged for Salmonella from 0.53% in iceberg lettuce to 5.1% in cucumber. For Campylobacter, this ranged from 0.83% in endive to 2.7% in oak tree lettuce. These data will be used to determine the public health risk posed by the consumption of ready-to-eat mixed salads in The Netherlands.

Research – Poultry Food Safety Control Interventions in the Domestic Kitchen

Wiley Online Library imagesCAYZ5I84

Research was undertaken to investigate cross-contamination of the domestic kitchen environment during poultry fillet preparation using a streptomycin-resistant strain of Pseudomonas fluorescens as a model organism. The potential role of a cook-in-the-bag technology to control this cross-contamination was also investigated. Poultry fillets were inoculated with P. fluorescens (6.06 log10 CFU/cm2). Six people were challenged to unpack, defrost, cut and cook without contaminating the preparation environment. After preparation, the chopping board, knife blade, dishcloth, refrigerator handle, oven handle, oven buttons, draining board, tap, microwave handle, microwave buttons, plate, tinfoil and press handle were tested for the presence of the P. fluorescens strain, before and after washing. The experiment was then repeated with a precut cook-in-the-bag product. In a separate experiment, the effect of freezing and frozen storage (−20C) on Campylobacter and the sensory attributes of chicken fillets were investigated. The cook-in-the-bag approach considerably reduced the incidence and levels of cross-contamination in the domestic kitchen. Freezing significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the Campylobacter counts on inoculated fillets after 7 days at −20C (1.73 log10 CFU/g). While there was no adverse effect on taste, fillets that had been frozen were significantly more “firm” and “less moist” as compared with fresh product.

USA – Chicken Livers – Campylobacter

Orgeon Food Safety AlertsCampylobacter_jejuni_01

Since December 2013, Oregon health officials have been looking into the source of Campylobacteriosis that has sickened five individuals in Oregon and Ohio. All cases report eating undercooked or raw chicken livers; most cases consumed chicken livers prepared as pâté. The cases in Ohio ate chicken liver pâté while visiting Oregon. The Oregon Health Authority is working with USDA and CDC.

This is the second reported multistate outbreak of campylobacteriosis associated with consumption of undercooked chicken liver in the United States.

Oregon Live

A high-end chicken product enjoyed in high-end restaurants in Portland is part of a small food poisoning outbreak in Oregon.

Health officials issued a public health alert Tuesday, saying six people who consumed undercooked or raw chicken livers were infected with campylobacter, a common foodborne pathogen. Three people live in Oregon and two others were visiting the state from Ohio. The outbreak includes one person in Washington state who got sick after consuming chicken liver pills. Most of the others ate chicken liver pate.