Controlling Campylobacter in poultry

Campylobacter is the main cause of bacterial foodborne infections in the Netherlands and Europe. Poultry is considered a major source, however (inter) national efforts on the prevention of Campylobacter in meat and meat products have had little effect so far.

Recent Dutch research indicates that meat products may not have to be totally free of Campylobacter; Exposure to small amounts of Campylobacter pose a limited risk of disease and may even induce immunity against Campylobacter. In contrast, products with higher concentrations of Campylobacter present increasing risks of disease in humans. Control measures should therefore aim at the prevention of highly contaminated end products. This recent insight has led to a novel EU approach (reduction instead of elimination) and new regulations are currently being developed. In line with this, in the current project four different approaches based on recent knowledge and methods are identified and tested for their effectiveness and practical suitability at poultry farms in the Netherlands.

For preventing or reducing the contamination of poultry is preferably done on the primary operating, since it reduces the colonization of Campylobacter and the subsequent propagation in the chicken is avoided. Within this PPP looks at the efficacy of fly nets under Dutch field conditions (line 1) and the effectiveness of vaccination (line 2). By a lack of effective measures in the primary phase (yet) reduction of contamination of products in the slaughterhouse necessary. To this end, the relationship between contamination of animals upon arrival at the slaughterhouse and Campylobacter Level examined the final product (line 3) and are looking for ways of reducing Campylobacter during the slaughtering process that are effective and workable in practice (line 4) .Uiteindelijk must this can lead to practical intervention measures that are efficacious and effective in the Dutch poultry. The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of human Campylobacter Infections.