Campylobacter Information

removing-skin-from-raw-chicken-1-ghv-325-62348184.jpegA study by researchers at the University of Florida’s Emerging Pathogens Institute sought to answer that question. Their report, released in late April, identified the top 10 riskiest combinations of food and disease-causing organisms.

The winner, or actually, the loser? A microorganism called campylobacter, which is linked with poultry and costs an estimated $1.3 billion a year in hospitalization and other medical costs.

Poultry causes more food-borne disease than any other type of food, the report says. Primarily because of campylobacter and salmonella, contaminated poultry is responsible for $2.4 billion in costs associated with illness.

According to press reports, Michael Batz, the report’s lead author and director of the institute’s food safety programs, said its purpose was not to scare people, nor to attack the poultry industry. It was designed more as a guide for Food and Drug Administration regulators and other agencies to adopt a more preventive approach.

Americans consume an average of more than 80 pounds of chicken per year, up from 60 pounds in 2004, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Beef consumption has been declining and is about 57 pounds per capita a year.

The National Chicken Council, Washington, D.C., said that over the years as companies continue to invest in safer standards, the presence of potentially pathogenic microorganisms on raw chicken has been greatly reduced.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture has had microbiological standards in effect since 1998,” the council stated in a release. “According to USDA sampling, the microbiological profile of fresh chicken meat is the best that it has ever been.

“Consumers should continue to follow the simple, common-sense food safety precautions printed on every package of raw meat and poultry sold in the United States, especially since the heat of normal cooking kills microorganisms such as salmonella and campylobacter.”

Their advice is basically: Cook chicken thoroughly.

Batz agrees that people should take every food safety precaution they can in their kitchens, but points out that 50 percent of meals are prepared in restaurants and other professional kitchens. At home, the issue could be cross-contamination from a cutting board or knife, not insufficient cooking temperatures.

“These are bacteria you cannot see. There are a lot of things you can accidentally do to spread these bugs around your house. There is a lot of inconsistent advice for consumers. For example, you still hear people suggest that people should wash chicken. Water hitting chicken spreads tiny particles around,” Batz said.

“People will say that food safety is simple, and it is not. It would not be a field of study if it were simple.”

A new doctoral thesis shows that heavy rain and average temperatures over 6 degrees centigrade during the breeding period increase the risk of broilers becoming infected by Campylobacter bacteria.

resize.jpgCampylobacter is a bacterium that occurs in the intestines of broilers in certain chicken flocks. Campylobacter is currently the most frequently reported cause of bacteria-induced diarrhoea in Europe, including in Norway. Chicken meat is considered to be one of the sources of infection. Reducing the number of infected chicken flocks will therefore result in a lower incidence of infection in humans.

As part of her doctoral research, Malin Jonsson has studied the areas in Norway where chicken flocks are at the highest risk of infection. Some areas in the counties of Hedmark and South Trøndelag were shown to have a particularly high infection risk. The research study also studied a number of risk factors, and the factors related to climate were shown to be important.

The analyses included daily measurements of temperature and precipitation correlated to each chicken flock. The results of these analyses revealed that the risk of the chicken pen becoming infected by Campylobacter increased successively as the daily mean temperature rose to over 6 degrees centigrade. Heavy precipitation during the breeding period also contributed towards an increase in the risk of infection.

The findings related to temperature are particularly interesting because earlier studies from for example Denmark have shown that flies help to introduce infection into the chicken pen, and flies are at their most active in temperatures over 6-8° centigrade. One important measure to prevent infection will therefore be to prevent flies coming in contact with the chickens.

Malin Jonsson also discovered that the farms which used their own water sources to provide their livestock with water were at a greater risk of infection than those connected to the public water supply. This would indicate that it is important that the broilers have access to drinking water of a consistently high quality in order to avoid them becoming infected. The source of drinking water is probably especially vulnerable in heavy rain. Campylobacter bacteria from the area around the farm or from neighbouring farms with livestock can help to pollute the water.

Jonsson’s thesis also presents results from analyses of so-called “clustering in space and time”, whereby Campylobacter bacteria from both humans and broilers were examined. These analyses demonstrated that common factors in the surroundings probably affect the spread of infection amongst both humans and chickens. The findings also indicate that humans can be infected by other things besides chicken meat, for instance drainage from chicken fertiliser that has polluted the groundwater.

The research project was financed by the Norwegian Research Council and carried out at The National Veterinary Institute from 2006-2010.

Malin Elisabet Jonsson, MSc in Veterinary Medicine, defended her doctoral thesis on January 18, 2011 at The Norwegian School of Veterinary Science. The thesis is entitled: ”Epidemiological and spatio-temporal studies of Campylobacter spp. In Norwegian broiler production.”

Campylobacter1.jpgCampylobacter is the second most common cause of bacterial foodborne illness in the United States after Salmonella. Over 3,000 cases were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2003, or 12.6 cases for each 100,000 persons in the population. Many more cases go undiagnosed and unreported, with estimates as high as 2 to 4 million cases per year. It is estimated that each case costs $920 on average due to medical and productivity (lost wages) expenses with an annual total cost of $1.2 billion.

Chicken is the most common food implicated. Any raw poultry—chicken, turkey, duck, goose, game fowl—meat and its juices may contain Campylobacter including organic and “free-range” products. Other foods include unpasteurized milk, undercooked meats such as beef, pork, lamb, and livestock offal, and occasionally shellfish, fresh produce, and eggs.

Most cases of Campylobacter infection occur as isolated, sporadic events, and are not usually part of large outbreaks. But, very large outbreaks (>1,000 illnesses) of campylobacteriosis have been documented, most often from consumption of contaminated milk or unchlorinated water supplies.

Other sources of Campylobacter that have been reported include children prior to toilet-training, especially in child care settings, and intimate contact with other infected individuals. Campylobacter jejuni is commonly present in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese. Direct exposure to feces from animals carrying Campylobacter can lead to infection. People have become ill from contact with infected dogs and cats. Pets that may carry Campylobacter include birds, cats, dogs, hamsters, and turtles. The organism is also found in streams, lakes, ponds, and dairy wastewater.

Symptoms of Campylobacter Infection

Continue Reading Campylobacter

Campylobacter jejuni (pronounced “camp-e-low-back-ter j-june-eye”) is a bacterium that was first recognized as a cause of human gastrointestinal illness in 1975. Since that time, the bacterium has been identified as the most common cause of bacterial foodborne illness in the U.S., ahead of Salmonella – the second most common cause (MMWR Weekly, 2000, March 17; Tauxe, 1992).

Over 10,000 cases are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year; however, many more cases go undiagnosed or unreported and estimates are that Campylobacter causes 2 to 4 million cases per year in the United States. Active surveillance for cases indicates that over 20 cases for each 100,000 persons in the population are diagnosed yearly, and 124 deaths are attributed to C. jejuni annually (CDC, 2005, October 6). Current estimates are that each case of campylobacteriosis costs $920 on average due to medical and productivity (lost wages) expenses with an annual total cost of approximately $1 billion (CAST, 1994).

The CDC reported that the incidence of Campylobacter infection decreased by 30 percent in the ten-year period between 1996 and 2006 (MMWR, 2007, April 13).

Campylobacter jejuni is a gram-negative, microaerophilic, thermophilic rod that grows best at 42°C (107°F) and low oxygen concentrations. These characteristics are adaptations for growth in its normal habitat – the intestines of warm-blooded birds and mammals. Several closely related species with similar characteristics, C. coli, C. fetus, and C. upsalienis, may also cause disease in man but are responsible for less than one percent of human infections annually (CDC, 2005, October 6).

Food is the most common vehicle for the spread of Campylobacter, and chicken is the most common food implicated.  Contamination occurs during animal slaughter and processing when it comes into contact with animal feces.  Ingestion of as few as 500 organisms – an amount that can be found in one drop of chicken juice – has been proven to cause human illness (FSIS, 1996; Tauxe, 1992). 

Despite this low infectious dose and the prevalence of Campylobacter jejuni in the environment, most cases of Campylobacter infection occur as isolated, sporadic events, and are not usually a part of large outbreaks.  But, very large outbreaks (>1,000 illnesses) of campylobacteriosis have been documented, most often from consumption of contaminated milk or unchlorinated water supplies.

A 1998 Consumer Reports study identified Campylobacter in 63% of more than 1000 chickens obtained in grocery stores (Consumers Union, 1998), and other studies have documented Campylobacter contamination on up to 88 percent of chicken carcasses (FSIS, 1996; Tauxe, 1992).

Any raw poultry – chicken, turkey, duck, goose, game fowl – meat and its juices may contain Campylobacter, including organic and “free range” products.  Other identified food vehicles include unpasteurized milk, undercooked meats such as beef, pork, lamb, and livestock offal, and occasionally shellfish, fresh produce, and eggs. 

How is Campylobacteriosis diagnosed?

Many kinds of infections can cause diarrhea and the other symptoms associated with campylobacteriosis. Doctors can look for bacterial causes of diarrhea by asking a laboratory to culture a sample of stool from an ill person. Microbiology laboratories now routinely perform culture procedures on stool specimens that are specifically designed to promote the growth and identification of Campylobacter jejuni and the other species of Campylobacter. 

Many persons submit samples for culturing after they have started antibiotics, which may make it even more difficult for a lab to grow Campylobacter.  Blood cultures are often not performed and in most cases the blood stream is not infected.

Treatment for Campylobacter infection

Patients with Campylobacter infection should drink plenty of fluids as long as the diarrhea lasts in order to maintain hydration. Antidiarrheal medications such as loperamide may allay some symptoms.  Campylobacteriosis is usually a self-limited illness, but when it is identified specific treatment with antibiotics is indicated, as treatment may shorten the course of the illness.

In more severe cases of gastroenteritis, antibiotics are often begun before culture results are known. 

Macrolide antibiotics (erythromycin, clarithromycin, or azithromycin) are the most effective agents for Campylobacter jejuni.  Fluoroquinolone antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, gatifloxacin, or moxifloxacin) can also be used, but resistance to this class has been rising, at least in part due to the use of this class of antimicrobial in poultry feed (Smith, et al., 1999).  In the U.S. these antibiotics are available only by prescription.

If you believe you have become ill with campylobacteriosis, contact your health care provider.

Antimicrobial Resistance in Bacteria

Antimicrobial resistance in bacteria is an emerging and increasing threat to human health. Physicians should be aware that antimicrobial resistance is increasing in foodborne pathogens and that patients who are prescribed antibiotics are at increased risk for acquiring antimicrobial-resistant foodborne infections. In addition, “…increased frequency of treatment failures for acute illness and increased severity of infection may be manifested by prolonged duration of illness, increased frequency of bloodstream infections, increased hospitalization or increased mortality,” (Angulo, Nargund, & Chiller, 2004).

The use of antimicrobial agents in the feed of food animals is estimated by the FDA to be over 100 million pounds per year. Estimates range from 36 to 70 percent of all antibiotics produced in the United States are used in a food animal feed or in prophylactic treatment to prevent animal disease.  In 2002, the Minnesota Medical Association published an article by David Wallinga, M.D., M.P.H. who wrote:

According to the [Union of Concerned Scientists], 70 percent of all the antimicrobials used in the United States for all purposes—or about 24.6 million pounds annually—are fed to poultry, swine, and beef cattle for nontherapeutic purposes, in the absence of disease. Over half are “medically important” antimicrobials, identical or so closely related to human medicines that resistance to the animal drug can confer resistance to the similar human drug. Penicillins, tetracyclines, macrolides, streptogramins, and sulfonamides are prominent examples. (Wallinga, 2002).

The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) reported that Campylobacter has been recovered from 47 percent of chicken breasts tested in recent studies. In the same NARMS studies, five multi-drug resistant strains of Salmonella Newport were recovered from ground beef, ground turkey, and pork chops.

According to the report, “…antimicrobial resistance among these foodborne bacteria is not uncommon and often associated with the use of antimicrobial agents in food animals,” (Stevenson, et al., 2002).  Ceftriaxone-resistant Salmonella has also been reported (Fey, et al., 2000). The emergence of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Typhimurium in the United States is another example of a drug-resistant bacteria spreading from animals to humans (Glynn, et al., 1998).  CDC reports:

A large proportion of serotype Typhimurium isolates were resistant to multiple antimicrobial drugs; in a 2003 national survey, 45% were resistant to one or more drugs and 26% had a five-drug resistance pattern characteristic of a single phage type, DT104 (2). Similarly, serotype Newport has emerged as a major multidrug-resistant pathogen (CDC, 2007).

The use of antibiotics in feed for food animals, on animals prophylactically to prevent disease, and the use of antibiotics in humans unnecessarily must be reduced. European countries have reduced the use of antibiotics in animal feed and have seen a corresponding reduction in antibiotic-resistant illnesses in humans (Angulo & Baker, et al., 2004).

How to prevent Campylobacter infection

Campylobacter jejuni grows poorly on properly refrigerated foods, but does survive refrigeration and will grow if contaminated foods are left out at room temperature.  The bacterium is sensitive to heat and other common disinfection procedures; pasteurization of milk, adequate cooking of meat and poultry, and chlorination or ozonation of water will destroy this organism.  Infection control measures at all stages of food processing may help to decrease the incidence of Campylobacter infections, but the single most important and reliable step is to adequately cook all poultry products. 

The most reliable method to ensure this is to use a digital food thermometer.  Document that the thickest part of the chicken, turkey, duck or goose (the center of the breast) reaches 180°F or higher, as recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (CFSAN, 1996). The agency recommends at least 165°F for stuffing, 170°F for ground poultry products, and that thighs and wings be cooked until juices run clear.

Most cases of campylobacteriosis are sporadic or involve small family groups, although some common-source outbreaks involving many people have been traced to contaminated water or milk.  Other sources of Campylobacter include children prior to toilet-training, especially in child care settings, (Goossens, et al., 1995) and intimate contact with other infected individuals.  C. jejuni is commonly present in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese, and direct animal exposure can lead to infection.  Pets that may carry Campylobacter include birds, cats, dogs, hamsters, and turtles (Fang, Araujo & Guerrant, 1991).  The organism is also occasionally isolated from streams, lakes and ponds.

Other control measures of import that are available to consumers and food service personnel to prevent campylobacteriosis include the following (Scott & Sockett, 1998):

* Choose the coolest part of the vehicle (generally the trunk in winter and cab in summer) to transport meat and poultry home from the market.

* Defrost meat and poultry in the refrigerator. Place the item on a low shelf, on a wide pan, lined with paper towel; ensure that drippings do not land on foods below. If there is not enough time to defrost in the refrigerator, then use the microwave.

* Do not cook stuffing actually inside the bird.

* Rapidly cool leftovers.

* Never leave food out at room temperature (either during preparation or after cooking) for more than 2 hours.

* Avoid raw milk and products made from raw milk. Drink only pasteurized milk products.

* Wash hands thoroughly using soap and water, concentrate on fingertips and nail creases, and dry completely with a disposable paper towel at the following times:

* Wash after contact with pets, especially puppies, or farm animals (Fang, Araujo & Guerrant, 1991).

* Wash before and after preparing food, especially poultry.

* Wash after changing diapers or having contact with an individual with an intestinal infection.

* Wash children on arrival home from school or day-care.

* Wash fruits and vegetables carefully, particularly if they are eaten raw. If possible, vegetables and fruits should be peeled.

* Use pasteurized eggs. 

References

  • Ang CW; De Klerk MA; Endtz HP; Jacobs BC; Laman JD; van der Meche FG; van Doorn PA.  (2001).  Guillain-Barre syndrome and Miller Fisher syndrome-associated Campylobacter jejuni lipopolysaccharides induce anti-GM1 and anti-GQ1b antibodies in rabbits.  Infect Immun.  Apr;69(4):2462-9.
  • Angulo FJ, Baker NL, Olsen SJ, Anderson A, Barrett TJ.  (2004).  Antimicrobal Use in Agriculture: Controlling the Transfer of Antimicrobal Resistance to Humans.  Seminars in Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 15(2):78-85.
  • Angulo FJ, Nargund VN, and Chiller TC.  (2004).  Evidence of an Association Between Use of Anti-microbial Agents in Food Animals and Anti-microbial Resistance Among Bacteria Isolated from Humans and the Human Health Consequences of Such Resistance.  J. Vet. Med. B Infect. Dis. Vet. Public Health.  51 (8-9):374-9.
  • CDC. (2005, October 6).  Campylobacter:  Technical Fact Sheet.  Retrieved October 29, 2007 from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site:  http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/campylobacter_t.htm.
  • CDC. (2007).  Salmonella Surveillance: Annual Summary, 2005. Atlanta, Georgia: US Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN).  (1996).  Temperature – Tips on Cooking and Storing Your Food. Retrieved October 29, 2007, from US Food and Drug Administration Web site:  http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~ear/temperat.html..
  • Consumers Union.  (1998).  Chicken: What you don’t know can hurt you. Consumer Reports 63(3):12–18.
  • Council for Agriculture, Science and Technology (CAST) (1994). Foodbome pathogens: risks and consequences. Task Force Report No.122. CAST, Ames, 87 pp.
  • Fang G, Araujo V, Guerrant RL.  (1991).  Enteric infections associated with exposure to animals or animal products. Infect Dis Clin North Am.  5:681-701.
  • Fey PD, Safranek TJ, Rupp ME, Dunne EF, Ribot E, Iwen PC, Bradford PA, Angulo FJ, Hinrichs SH.  (2000).  Ceftriaxone-resistant Salmonella infection acquired by a child from cattle. N Engl J Med 342:1242–1249.
  • Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). (1996).  Nationwide broiler chicken microbiologic baseline data collection program, 1994-1995. Washington, DC: United States Department of Agriculture.
  • Glynn MK, Bopp C, Dewitt W, Dabney P, Mokhtar M, Angulo FJ.  (1998). Emergence of multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica serotype typhimurium DT104 infections in the United States. N Engl J Med 338:1333–1338.
  • Goossens H, Giesendorf AJ, Vandamme P, et al. (1995).  Investigation of an outbreak of Campylobacter upsaliensis in day care centers in Brussels:  analysis of relationships among isolates by phenotypic and genotypic typing methods. J Infect Dis. 172:1298-305.
  • MMWR Weekly.  (2000, March 17).  Preliminary FoodNet data on the incidence of foodborne illnesses – Selected sites, United States, 1999.  49:201-203.  Atlanta, GA:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • MMWR Weekly.  (2007, April 13).  Preliminary FoodNet Data on the Incidence of Infection with Pathogens Transmitted Commonly Through Food — 10 States, 2006.  56(14);336-339.  Atlanta, GA:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • MMWR Surveillance Summaries.  (2000, March 17).  Guidelines for confirmation of foodborne-disease outbreaks. 49(SS01);54-62.  Atlanta, GA:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Rees JH, Soudain SE, Gregson NA, and Hughes RAC. (1995).  Campylobacter jejuni infection and Guillain-Barré syndrome. N Engl J Med; 333:1374-1379.
  • Scott E and Sockett P.  (1998).  How to Prevent Rood Poisoning.  New York:  John Wiley & Sons.
  • Smith KE, Besser JM, Hedberg CW, Leano FT, Bender JB, Wicklund JH, Johnson BP, Moore KA, and Osterholm MT.  (1999, May 20).  Quinolone-resistant Campylobacter jejuni infections in Minnesota, 1992-1998. N Engl J Med. 340:1525-1532.
  • Stevenson JE, White D, Torpey III DJ, Craig AS, Smith KE, Park MM, Pascucilla MA, Anderson AD, and the NARMS Working Group.  (2002, March).  Enhanced Surveillance for Antimicrobial Resistance Among Enteric Bacteria: NARMS Retail Food Study. Atlanta, GA:  International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
  • Tauxe RV. (1992).  Epidemiology of Campylobacter jejuni infections in the United States and other industrial nations. In: I Nachamkin, MJ Blaser, and LS Tompkins, (Ed.). Campylobacter jejuni: current and future trends (pp 9-12). Washington: American Society for Microbiology.
  • Wallinga, D.  (2002, October).  Antimicrobial Use in Animal Feed:  an Ecological and Public Health Problem.  Minnesota Medicine. 85.  Retrieved January 16, 2008, from http://www.mmaonline.net/publications/MNMed2002/October/Wallinga.html

Campylobacter is the second most common cause of foodborne illness in the United States after Salmonella. Over 3,000 cases were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2003, or 12.6 cases for each 100,000 persons in the population. Many more cases go undiagnosed and unreported, with estimates as high as 2 to 4 million cases per year. It is estimated that each case costs $920 on average due to medical and productivity (lost wages) expenses with an annual total cost of $1.2 billion.

Campylobacter is the second most common cause of foodborne illness in the United States after Salmonella. Over 3,000 cases were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2003, or 12.6 cases for each 100,000 persons in the population. Many more cases go undiagnosed and unreported, with estimates as high as 2 to 4 million cases per year. It is estimated that each case costs $920 on average due to medical and productivity (lost wages) expenses with an annual total cost of $1.2 billion.

Chicken is the most common food implicated. Any raw poultry—chicken, turkey, duck, goose, game fowl—meat and its juices may contain Campylobacter including organic and “free-range” products. Other foods include unpasteurized milk, undercooked meats such as beef, pork, lamb, and livestock offal, and occasionally shellfish, fresh produce, and eggs.

Most cases of Campylobacter infection occur as isolated, sporadic events, and are not usually part of large outbreaks. But, very large outbreaks (>1,000 illnesses) of campylobacteriosis have been documented, most often from consumption of contaminated milk or unchlorinated water supplies.

Other sources of Campylobacter that have been reported include children prior to toilet-training, especially in child care settings, and intimate contact with other infected individuals. Campylobacter jejuni is commonly present in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese. Direct exposure to feces from animals carrying Campylobacter can lead to infection. People have become ill from contact with infected dogs and cats. Pets that may carry Campylobacter include birds, cats, dogs, hamsters, and turtles. The organism is also found in streams, lakes, ponds, and dairy wastewater.

Symptoms of Campylobacter infection

The incubation period for Campylobacteriosis (the time between exposure to the bacteria and onset of the first symptom) is typically two to five days, but onset may occur in as few as two days or as long as 10 days after ingestion of the bacteria. The illness usually lasts no more than one week but severe cases may persist for up to three weeks, and about 25% of individuals experience relapses of symptoms.

Diarrhea is the most consistent and prominent manifestation of Campylobacter infection and is often bloody. Typical symptoms also include fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, and muscle pain. A majority of cases are mild, do not require hospitalization, and are self-limited. However, Campylobacter jejuni infection can be severe and life-threatening. It may cause appendicitis or infect other organs as well as the blood stream. It is estimated that about one in 1,000 cases of Campylobacter infection results in death. Death is more common when other diseases (for example, cancer, liver disease, and immune deficiency diseases) are present.

Diagnosis of Campylobacter infection

Health care providers can look for bacterial causes of diarrhea by asking a laboratory to culture a stool sample from an ill person. Campylobacter is usually a self-limited illness; the affected person should drink plenty of fluids as long as the diarrhea lasts in order to maintain hydration. Antidiarrheal medications such as loperamide may allay some symptoms. Specific treatment with antibiotics is sometimes indicated, particularly in severe cases, and may shorten the course of the illness. Macrolide antibiotics (erythromycin, clarithromycin, or azithromycin) are the most effective agents. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, gatifloxacin, or moxifloxacin) can also be used, but resistance to this class of drugs has been rising, at least in part due to their use in poultry feed. Consultation with a health care provider is recommended prior to taking anti-diarrheal medications or antibiotics.

Complications of Campylobacter infection

Long-term consequences and complications can sometimes result from a Campylobacter infection. Some people may develop a rare disease that affects the nerves of the body following infection. This disease is called Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS). It begins several weeks after the diarrheal illness, may last for weeks to months, and often requires intensive care. Full recovery is common but some affected individuals may be left with mild to severe neurological damage. Two therapies, intravenous immunoglobulin infusions and plasma exchange, may improve the rate of recovery in patients with GBS.

Miller Fisher Syndrome (MFS) is a related neurological syndrome that can occur with a Campylobacter infection. In MFS, the nerves of the head are affected more than the nerves of the body. Another chronic condition that may be associated with Campylobacter infection is a form of reactive arthritis called Reiter’s syndrome (RS). RS typically affects large weight-bearing joints such as the knees and the lower back. It is a complication that is strongly associated with a particular genetic make-up; persons who have the human lymphocyte antigen B27 (HLA-B27) are most susceptible.

Preventing Campylobacter infection

The single most important and reliable step to preventing Campylobacter infection is to adequately cook all poultry products. Make sure that the thickest part of the bird (the center of the breast) reaches 180F or higher. It is recommended that the temperature reaches at least 165F for stuffing and 170F for ground poultry products, and that thighs and wings be cooked until juices run clear. Do not cook stuffing inside the bird.

If you are served undercooked poultry in a restaurant, send it back for further cooking.

Consider using irradiated foods. Irradiation within approved dosages has been shown to destroy at least 99.9% of common foodborne pathogens including Campylobacter, which are associated with meat, poultry, and secondary contamination of fresh produce.

Transport meat and poultry home from the market in the coolest part of the vehicle (generally the trunk in winter and cab in summer). Defrost meat and poultry in the refrigerator. Place the item on a low shelf, on a wide pan, lined with paper towel; ensure that drippings do not land on foods below. If there is not enough time to defrost in the refrigerator, use the microwave.

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.

Rapidly cool leftovers. Never leave food out at room temperature (either during preparation or after cooking) for more than 2 hours.

Avoid raw milk products and untreated (not chlorinated or boiled) surface water.

Wash fruits and vegetables carefully, particularly if they are eaten raw. If possible, vegetables and fruits should be peeled.

Wash hands thoroughly using soap and water, concentrate on fingertips and nail creases, and dry completely with a disposable paper towel after contact with pets, especially puppies, or farm animals; before and after preparing food, especially poultry; and after changing diapers or having contact with an individual with an intestinal infection. Children should wash their hands on arrival home from school or daycare.

1. Campylobacter Lawyer & Attorney : Marler Clark : Campylobacter Blog
www.campylobacterblog.com

2. Disease Listing, Campylobacter, General Information | CDC …
Frequently asked questions about Campylobacter from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
www.cdc.gov/node.do/id/0900f3ec80006b8f

3. Campylobacter jejuni-An Emerging Foodborne Pathogen
Campylobacter jejuni is the most commonly reported bacterial cause of foodborne.
www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol5no1/altekruse.htm

4. FDA/CFSAN Bad Bug Book – Campylobacter jejuni
Includes organism information, symptoms, associated foods, and complications.
www.cfsan.fda.gov/~mow/chap4.html

5. Campylobacter Infections
Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter fetus symptoms, causes, treatment, risk factors, and prevention.
www.kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/campylobacter.html

6. CAMPYLOBACTER – Organisms of the genus Campylobacter are Gram-negative. Campylobacter are microaerophiles, which means that they can survive in a low oxygen environment.
www.medic.med.uth.tmc.edu/path/00001494.htm

7. WHO | Campylobacter
www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs255/en

8. Campylobacter – DrGreene.com – Learn about food poisoning and gastroenteritis, two illnesses commonly caused by campylobacter.
www.drgreene.org/body.cfm?xyzpdqabc=0&id=21&action=detail&ref=1041

9. Campylobacter – Wikipedia
www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campylobacter

10. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Campylobacter enteritis
Features symptoms, tests, treatment, complications, and prevention.
www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000224.htm

Raw milk has been the source of numerous outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and other outbreaks in recent years. Although advocates of drinking raw milk believe there are health benefits, the risks certainly outweigh them.
An article from the Baxter Bulletin today highlights the debate over the purported benefits of raw milk versus the safety of our food supply and the duties of public health officials who must work to prevent outbreaks of Campylobacter and other foodborne illnesses:
Advocates of raw milk are behind legislative efforts in Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky and Nebraska to legalize selling raw milk. Moves to introduce legislation have begun in North Carolina and Maryland.

Continue Reading Raw milk: Fit for human consumption?

William Marler (Bill) is the managing partner in the law firm Marler Clark L.L.P., P.S. Since 1993, Bill has represented thousands of victims of E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Listeria, Shigella, Campylobacter and Norovirus illnesses in over thirty States.
Food poisoning lawsuits against companies responsible for introducing contaminated food into our food supply have become the focus of Bill’s professional career as an attorney. Bill’s first client who was injured after consuming contaminated food was nine-year-old Brianne Kiner, who fell with an E. coli O157:H7 infection and Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome after eating a contaminated hamburger during the now-infamous Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak of 1993. Bill negotiated a $15.6 million settlement for Brianne’s injuries, a record in the State of Washington for personal injury cases. He resolved several other cases from the Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak for over $2.5 million each.
Bill, known as the “E. coli lawyer,” has since represented thousands of people sickened or killed in outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 and other food borne pathogens, including Salmonella, Hepatitis, Shigella, Campylobacter, Norovirus, and Listeria. In 1998, he negotiated a reported $12 million settlement for the families of children who fell ill after drinking E. coli-contaminated apple juice sold by Odwalla; and in 2001, a jury awarded the families of eleven children Bill represented $4.6 million for the injuries they received during an E. coli outbreak traced to school lunch served at Finley Elementary School in Finley, Washington. He also resolved dozens of E. coli cases in 2003 related to one of the largest meat recalls in United States history. Bill recently settled an E. coli case in New York for a young girl for $11 million. Bill was also able to secure a $6.25 million settlement on behalf of a client who suffered a kidney transplant as part of the Chi-Chi’s Hepatitis A outbreak.

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