Monday August 14, 2006
By Stephen Ward
The chicken industry says sales have remained steady despite the scare about high rates of human campylobacter infection.
A University of Otago study that appeared last month said New Zealand’s campylobacter rates were the world’s highest. One finding was that up to 90 per cent of fresh raw chicken was contaminated when sold to consumers.
But the Poultry Industry Association’s executive director, Michael Brooks, believes contamination rates are more like 30-40 per cent.
The association said some regions had seen a minor fluctuation in sales, but the overall trend remained steady.
It stressed that proper cooking of meat killed campylobacter.
The scare came after Meat and Wool New Zealand figures showed a decline in poultry consumption in the year to March, unrelated to campylobacter.


Continue Reading Disease scare fails to dent consumption of chicken

Three times higher than Australia; 30 times higher than the US
09 July 2006
University of Otago public health researchers say New Zealand should seriously consider banning the sale of fresh chicken for human consumption, and switch to frozen chicken instead, to alleviate the country’s serious campylobacter epidemic.
A study by the University’s Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ researchers just published in the international journal Epidemiology and Infection paints an alarming picture about the rate of campylobacter infection in New Zealand. Infection rates have risen steadily for more than two decades and are now more than three times higher than that reported in Australia and 30 times higher than the United States. This is the first time that New Zealand’s comparative situation has been quantified and comprehensively reported in an international peer-review journal. Since the research was completed, rates have risen to a new high of 416/100,000 for the 12 months ending May 2006, based on 15,553 cases notified during that period.


Continue Reading Study reveals New Zealand campylobacter rates highest in world

Thursday, 27 July 2006, 2:54 pm
Press Release: Green Party
27 July 2006
The Green Party is alarmed that the Government will not take any decisive action in the foreseeable future to reduce the epidemic of campylobacter infections in New Zealand while it waits for yet more advice.
In the House today the Minister of Food Safety, in response to questioning by Greens’ Food Safety Spokesperson Sue Kedgley, said they would not act until further research was conducted.


Continue Reading Lack of decisive action on epidemic is alarming

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

May 3, 2006
Stuff (New Zealand)
Nikki MacDonald
Public health experts are taking up their magnifying glasses, looking for clues to explain why New Zealand has the highest campylobacter rates in the world.
Notified cases of the nasty stomach bug increased again last year, after a brief drop in 2004, Environmental Science and Research’s 2005 notifiable diseases annual report shows.
Case numbers have risen by 75 per cent in the past five years, from about 8000 to almost 14,000 last year. New Zealand’s rates are the highest in the developed world, and Wellington rates are consistently some of the highest in the country.


Continue Reading Searching for clues to NZ tummy trouble

08 October 2005
By KAMALA HAYMAN
A Fear Factor-style contest that left two students suffering food poisoning after eating raw liver was held at Cashmere High School, it emerged yesterday.
On Thursday, Cashmere principal Dave Turnbull said he knew nothing about such a contest and condemned it as “utterly gross and appalling”.
However, Turnbull phoned The Press yesterday to apologise and explain the two victims of campylobacter food poisoning were Cashmere students.


Continue Reading School admits offal eating