Thursday, January 14, 2016

Chicken a major source of campylobacter

Half of Canadian chicken is contaminated with campylobacter bacteria, reports  FoodNet Canada.

It also found salmonella bacteria on every chicken farm where it gathered samples.

Campylobacter are a dangerous food-poisoning bacteria.

Its survey was done in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.

Here’s what FoodNet reported this week:

“In 2014, Campylobacter and Salmonella remained the most common causes of human enteric illness in the sentinel sites.
“Campylobacter was the most prevalent pathogen found on skinless chicken breast in all sites with close to one-half of all samples testing positive.
“Across all three sites Salmonella is the most commonly found pathogen in chicken nuggets, with more than one-quarter of all samples testing positive. 
“Salmonella prevalence on skinless chicken breast ranged across the sites from 15 – 26 per cent.
“In ground beef, VTEC (verotoxic E. coli) remains at a low prevalence. Pork chops appear to contain the pathogens of interest (Campylobacter,Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes) at relatively low levels.
“Fresh-cut fruit sampling showed that these products are rarely positive for the parasites, viruses and bacteria tested.
“On farm, Salmonella was commonly found in broiler chickens in all sites. Salmonella was also found in turkey in the B.C. site, but at a lower prevalence than in the broiler chickens.
“In turkey in the B.C. site, Campylobacter was again the most common pathogen found in 2014, as in 2013. 
“Campylobacter was also commonly found in beef and dairy manure samples in the Ontario site, as in previous years. 
“Campylobacter prevalence in broiler chickens was variable across the sites, ranging from 8.7 – 22 per cent.
“VTEC was found in about one quarter of irrigation water samples in the B.C. and Alberta sites.
“Results from the 2014 FoodNet Canada sampling year have demonstrated that retail meat products, particularly chicken products, remain an important source of human enteric pathogens. “Some of this contamination is likely due to high levels on farm and other points along the farm to store continuum.
“Fresh-cut fruit does not appear to be an important source of enteric disease for Canadians, while irrigation water has the potential to be a source of VTEC in particular.
“Continued monitoring of human cases and potential sources in the sentinel sites is important to help further understand enteric disease in Canada and detect emerging trends.
“This information will help protect Canadians and help to develop future public health policy.”