Campylobacter largely due to raw chicken, finds FSA

Research suggests that up to 80% of campylobacter infections may be caused by food poisoning, through the handling or consumption of raw or undercooked chicken the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said.

In an attempt to combat this, the FSA is inviting tenders to map the whole genome for campylobacter isolates, which are archived in the Infectious Intestinal Disease One (IID1 1993-1996) and Infectious Intestinal Disease Two (IID2 2008-2009) studies.

“The majority of infection is caused by campylobacter jejuni while the remainder is caused by campylobacter coli and other minor species,” the FSA said. It pointed out that although there were many risk factors for campylobacter, the majority – “60% to 80%” – of infections are caused through raw chicken.

The FSA said: “The Agency is committed to develop and implement a risk management programme to reduce campylobacter in chicken as part of our foodborne strategy. Sequencing the whole genome for the unique and valuable collection of campylobacter isolates, archived from the IID1 and IID2 studies, will provide key information for isolates representative of the UK population.”

However, the work will also provide valuable reference points regarding ongoing UK research into the infection and its developments.


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