Sep 10, 2013 in Blog Articles

According to figures released by the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the U.K., affecting about 460,000 people each year. Of these, an average of 22,000 are hospitalized and more than 100 die. Campylobacter is found in a range of food products but poultry is among its main sources, the FSA said. The agency will work with local governments in its efforts to raise awareness of the risks associated with the use of chilled chicken among food businesses and to provide information on how to handle it safely. Campylobacteriosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria of the genus Campylobacter. Most people who become ill with campylobacteriosis get diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever within two to five days after exposure to the organism. The diarrhea may be bloody and can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The illness typically lasts about one week. Some infected persons do not have any symptoms. In persons with compromised immune systems, Campylobacter occasionally spreads to the bloodstream and causes a serious life-threatening infection. Most people who get campylobacteriosis recover completely within two to five days, although sometimes recovery can take up to 10 days. Rarely, Campylobacter infection results in long-term consequences. Some people develop arthritis. Others may develop a rare disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome that affects the nerves of the body beginning several weeks after the diarrheal illness. This occurs when a person’s immune system is “triggered” to attack the body’s own nerves resulting in paralysis. The paralysis usually lasts several weeks and requires intensive medical care. It is estimated that approximately one in every 1,000 reported Campylobacter illnesses leads to Guillain-Barré syndrome. It only takes a very few Campylobacter organisms (fewer than 500) to make a person sick. Even one drop of juice from raw chicken meat can have enough Campylobacter in it to infect a person! One way to become infected is to cut poultry meat on a cutting board, and then use the unwashed cutting board or utensil to prepare vegetables or other raw or lightly cooked foods. What can a person do to prevent campylobacteriosis? According to the California Department of Public Health: Thoroughly cook all meats, especially poultry. If you are served undercooked poultry in a restaurant, send it back for further cooking. Make sure that other foods, such as fruits or vegetables, do not come into contact with cutting boards or knives that have been used with raw meat or poultry. To avoid cross-contamination, carefully clean all cutting boards, countertops, and utensils with soap and hot water after preparing raw meat or poultry. Wash hands before preparing food and immediately after handling any raw poultry or meat. Always refrigerate meat products. Never leave raw meat at room temperature. Avoid drinking unpasteurized milk and untreated or unfiltered water.  A team of researchers from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom has discovered that high levels of a stress hormone in chickens actually increase the risk of Campylobacter infection. The bacteria can live in the intestinal tract of even healthy birds, passing from bird to bird through common water sources or contact with feces. In order to reduce the risk of Campylobacter infection at poultry farms, Filcon Filters can assist poultry farmers with advice on ensuring that they have a clean water supply. Filcon Filters manufactures a wide range of strainers, automatic backflushing filters, centrifugal separators, Y and purge strainers and supplies filter housings, filter bags and filter cartridges.

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