There has been an increase in the number of people who have been infected by the intestinal bacteria campylobacter in recent weeks. During week 26, the number of reported cases increased further compared to previous weeks and the increase looks set to continue.
From mid-June, an increase in the occurrence of campylobacter in Swedish broiler flocks has also been observed. Previous studies have shown a connection between campylobacter infection and the consumption of fresh chicken, where around a third of those who have contracted the disease have been linked to fresh chicken. Campylobacter infection in humans is more common in the summer as is the presence of campylobacter in broiler flocks.
Reducing your risk of contracting campylobacter:
- Be careful with hand hygiene, wash your hands before you start cooking, and immediately after handling raw meat and chicken.
- Keep raw chicken meat and other foods apart, especially ready-to-eat foods such as salad greens.
- Wash the cutting board and kitchen utensils thoroughly after cutting meat and chicken. Then you prevent bacteria from being transferred from one food to another via utensils or work surfaces. Use a sufficiently strong stream of water when washing hands or rinsing dirty cutting boards and utensils to avoid splashing onto surfaces, other food in the kitchen and onto yourself.
- Keep the workbench clean, wipe up meat juices with kitchen paper – not a dishcloth.
- Food that may contain campylobacter must be cooked so that the whole meat reaches at least 70°C.
- Always cook chicken through – then the bacteria that may be in it will die.
- Avoid drinking unpasteurized milk.
Campylobacter is an intestinal bacterium that occurs in many animal species. The disease is usually spread via contaminated food or contaminated drinking water. The most common reason for a person to become infected with campylobacter is via chicken.
The incubation period is usually 1–3 days but can be up to 10 days. Most people fall ill acutely with diarrhea that is sometimes mixed with blood, stomach pains, nausea, vomiting and fever.
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