The Clarion-Ledger posted an article today about keeping nutritious foods safe to eat, focusing on keeping hot foods hot, cold foods cold, and other food safety measures promoted by health officials and food safety advocates. The article, which can be found here, includes a sidebar with information about foodborne pathogens, including E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, and Campylobacter.

What the authors had to say about Campylobacter (paraphrased from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site):

Campylobacter is often associated with raw poultry. This pathogen causes fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. It is the most commonly identified bacterial cause of diarrhea illness in the world. These bacteria live in the intestines of healthy birds, and most raw poultry meat has campylobacter on it. Eating undercooked chicken, or other food contaminated with juices dripping from raw chicken is the most frequent source of this infection.

Click here to learn more about Campylobacter and how to prevent campylobacteriosis.

Updated 8/6/2006
By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY
John Langlois feels so strongly about the benefits of unpasteurized goat milk that he pays $19 a gallon to have it shipped from a South Carolina dairy to his home in Estillfork, Ala. He credits it with giving him more energy, curing his grandson’s chronic diarrhea when he was an infant and keeping the boy “steady” rather than “bouncing off the walls” now that he’s 5.
Elizabeth Benner of Rochester, N.Y., drives 45 minutes each way to a dairy to get a week’s worth of raw cow’s milk for nine families in the milk club she organized. She says she was “really struggling” on a low-fat, vegan diet but regained her strength when she added whole raw milk and cream to her diet.
Christina Trecaso of Copley, Ohio, is in a herd share program. She and 150 other families pay boarding costs for “their” cows and take their profits in milk, butter and cream. For her, it’s about “buying food that is minimally processed, food that is procured in a 100-mile radius. … It’s about relationships and shaking the hand that feeds you.”

Continue Reading Raw milk: Fit for human consumption?

Are happy chickens safe chickens? One researcher believes so, outlining a possible role of bird stress on the number of campylobacter positive flocks.
Speaking at the recent 2006 World Poultry Science Association meeting in York, Tom Humphrey of the University of Bristol revealed new results that show the incidence of campylobacter had fallen from 76% in 1993 to 20% in 2005.
Prof Humphrey believes this reduction is mainly through attention to detail and improved biosecurity, but many questions remain, including why does it peak in summer?
The reason for the peak is unclear and Prof Humphrey questioned whether it was due to stress of higher temperatures or greater airflow bringing more infected flies into the shed.
He then outlined evidence that increased stress gives the pathogen a helping hand in infecting the bird, including Irish research showing a six-fold increase in campylobacter in chickens after transport to the abattoir.
For the full article, see the new relaunched Poultry World.
Author: Richard Allison

By DAN RAHN University of Georgia
You pack your child’s lunch for school early in the morning, but she doesn’t eat it until lunchtime. Is it still safe then? Foodborne illnesses can be serious, even deadly, for young children especially. But lunch doesn’t have to be risky.
“It’s not hard to keep packed lunches safe,” said Connie Crawley, a Cooperative Extension nutrition and health specialist with the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “But it takes some thought and preparation.”
In a packed school lunch, Crawley said, food safety depends on what you pack and how you pack it.
Choosing the food is a big step. Many of your child’s favorites are perfectly safe at room temperature.

Continue Reading Don’t let danger sneak into your child’s lunchbox; it’s not hard to keep food safe

Massey University Press Release
A ban on the sale of fresh chicken meat is the not answer to preventing outbreaks of campylobacteriosis says food microbiologist Associate Professor John Brooks.
He says the media focus on the comparatively high incidence of campylobacteria outbreak in New Zealand has been triggered by incomplete information.
“No clear mode of transmission has been established between chicken meat and humans. Campylobacter is also found in cattle and sheep, ducks and domestic pets, and water and dairy farm effluent have also been found frequently to be contaminated.”

Continue Reading Combating campylobacter with common sense

Illness linked to unpasteurized cheese curds: People advised not to eat raw milk products
Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
State of Wisconsin
MADISON – State health officials are advising individuals to avoid eating unpasteurized cheese curds produced by Wesley Lindquist of Highbridge, Wisconsin. More than 40 people have exhibited symptoms of nausea, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever and occasionally vomiting after eating the white cheese curds produced by Lindquist.
People began getting sick between Ma 24 – June 2, 2006. Stool samples from six of the ill individuals were tested at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene and the presence of Campylobacter jejuni was confirmed in all six specimens.

Continue Reading Campylobacter illness linked to unpasteurized cheese curds: People advised not to eat raw milk products

03 Jul 2006
Health and food safety experts say they are at a loss to explain a big rise in the number of cases of the food poisoning bug, campylobacter.
More commonly found in rural parts of the country, campylobacter now seems to be affecting larger numbers of city residents.
Donald Campbell, the principal public health advisor with the Food Safety Authority, says cases have jumped from an average 200 a week to 250 in recent months for no obvious reason.
Scientists, food safety experts and health professionals are using computer modelling to find ways to stop the number of cases increasing.

Monday, 3 July 2006
Press Release: New Zealand Food Safety Authority
The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) is concerned about the continuing increase in cases of human campylobacter infection, highlighted in the latest monthly surveillance report from the Institute of Environmental Science and Research.
Campylobacter is a bacterium commonly found in animals and the environment. Since being made a notifiable disease in 1980, New Zealand’s reported cases of campylobacteriosis have risen steadily and health professionals acknowledge it as a major public health concern.
The source or sources of the latest rise in numbers are not clear and are the subject of investigations being undertaken by ESR. However, any increase in cases of the disease also increases the potential for contamination of food to occur from infected individuals, particularly in the home.

Continue Reading Concern at increase in campylobacter infection

Unlicensed cheese-maker ordered to halt operations
By RICK OLIVO Staff Writer
The Daily Press
Monday, June 26th, 2006
Cheese curds infected with the Campylobacter bacteria are now being blamed for over 100 suspected cases of illness in places as far away as Oregon.
The contaminated cheese curds were manufactured by an unlicensed Highbridge cheese-maker using unpasteurized milk, says the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services.
Wesley Lindquist was ordered to cease the production of curds and any other dairy products following the outbreak, which apparently began shortly after Memorial Day when a number of visitors were in the Ashland area for graduations and other events. Over 40 confirmed cases of illness have been identified as coming from the tainted curds, and many others from different areas of the state and even other states have also become ill.

Continue Reading Bad cheese curds now responsible for over 100 illnesses

Chicago Tribune
CHICAGO – Antibiotic-free foods are not necessarily safer, according to an Institute of Food Technologists study to be released Monday.
The study, conducted by a panel of food scientists and microbiologists, aims for the heart of the marketing campaigns in the last decade by organic food advocates who have suggested there is an overuse of antibiotics and that antibiotic-free foods are better for human consumption.
One such group is the Organic Trade Association, based in Greenfield, Mass., which represents many of the nation’s organic food producers. The association cites 10 studies from 2000 and 2001 of antibiotic use in farming to support its stand that antibiotics have been abused by American farmers.

Continue Reading Antibiotic-free food not necessarily safer for people, study says