Campylobacter is a bacterium in the intestines, which can cause infections leading to the disease camylobacterioses. As it is the main cause of diarrhea in the European Union, reduction of its presence on meat is an important focus point of the sector.
Reduction of campylobacter presence on poultry meat
In 2009, the Dutch poultry sector and government established a plan to reduce the prevalence of campylobacter on poultry meat.
To reduce the presence of campylobacter on the end-products steps are taken both on the farms as well as in the processing facilities. The number of campylobacter infected flocks of birds has reduced significantly since 2009, logically leading to a reduction of presence of the bacteria on the end product.
Meat processors monitor the presence of the bacteria continuously and take action in their processes if a rise in infection is found.
Due to this plan the presence of campylobacter on poultry meat already reduced from 9.8% in 2009 to 3.9% in 2016.
The final and even very important step is proper hygiene in the kitchen of the consumer. Raw chicken meat should be prepared on separate materials and be kept apart from any other food products to prevent cross-contamination. Last but not least properly washing hands after handling raw meat and correct cleaning of the materials used, reduce the risk of contamination even further.