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Reducing The Spread Of Campylobacter

From the New Zealand Poultry Industry Association

Reducing The Spread Of Campylobacter

More effective fly control in kitchens and food preparation areas could have a major impact on reducing the spread of Campylobacter in this country.

A new report in New Zealand has identified flies as the main culprit behind this country’s high rates of human campylobacter.

The study by laboratory scientist Ben Harris has just been published (Friday) in the New Zealand Medical Journal. The New Zealand findings support similar overseas studies.

Mr. Harris has revealed how the New Zealand’s close proximity between farms and towns allows for easy spread of the Campylobacter bug.

The main source of infection is believed to be cattle droppings. Flies carry the bug from paddocks and rural areas to nearby towns and cities. The bacterium eventually ends up in our homes and restaurants, left in fly droppings on door handles and hand rails.

Mr. Harris points out that licking your fingers while eating a meal or takeaway is just one way you can become infected.

The Poultry Industry Association (PIANZ) says the research is a timely reminder to all New Zealanders. The industry says improved hygiene standards and sensible food handling are two important ways to guard against infection.

Sensible precautions include washing your hands before meals and ensuring strict food preparation practices are followed in the kitchen.

The industry says this latest research discredits a recent report from controversial researcher Michael Baker. Mr. Baker divided opinion by unfairly pointing to chicken as the main contributing factor.

While there are many ways the bug can spread – including domestic pets and untreated drinking water – properly cooked chicken remains safe and healthy to eat.

The Poultry Industry Association (PIANZ) says the spread of Campylobacter is a complex global problem. But New Zealanders will be better informed as a result of the latest research.

The industry currently works closely with the appropriate regulatory bodies, scientists, researchers and food safety experts with the aim of finding new solutions to this long-term problem.


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