Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers

Campylobacter

Danish strategies to control Campylobacter in broilers and broiler meat: facts and effects

H. ROSENQUISTa1 c1, L. BOYSENa1, C. GALLIANOa2, S. NORDENTOFTa3, S. ETHELBERGa4 and B. BORCKa1

a1 National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Soeborg, Denmark

a2 Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, Soeborg, Denmark

a3 National Veterinary Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Aarhus N, Denmark

a4 Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen S, Denmark

SUMMARY

Thermotolerant Campylobacter spp. have been the most common bacterial cause of human gastrointestinal disease in Denmark since 1999. In 2003, the Danish voluntary strategy to control Campylobacter was intensified. The focus was on biosecurity, allocation of meat from Campylobacter-negative broilers to the production of chilled products, and consumer information campaigns. From 2002 to 2007, the percentage of Campylobacter-positive broiler flocks at slaughter decreased from 43% to 27%. After processing, Campylobacter-positive samples of chilled broiler meat fell from 18% in 2004 to 8% in 2007. Furthermore, the number of registered human Campylobacter cases decreased by 12%; from 4379 cases in 2002 to 3865 cases in 2007. We believe that the observed decrease in the occurrence of Campylobacter in broilers and broiler meat and the coincidental fall in the number of registered human cases is, in part, a result of the implemented control strategy.

(Accepted April 03 2009)

(Online publication May 06 2009)

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: Dr H. Rosenquist, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Moerkhoej Bygade 19, 2860 Soeborg, Denmark. (Email: haro@food.dtu.dk)

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