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Campylobacter in Domestic ‘Backyard’ Poultry

Poultry fecal samples were collected from 35 domestic ‘backyard’ poultry flocks from urban and rural properties. There was a high prevalence of Campylobacter spp. with 86% of flocks testing positive.  Campylobacter database showed that 28 of the genotypes had previously been isolated from human cases of campylobacteriosis.  

Tracing Campylobacter from farm to retail

Campylobacter jejuniwere recovered from birds, carcasses and carcass portions from two broiler chicken flocks and from equipment used for carcass and meat processing along the production chain from farms to retail stores. C. jejuni was recovered from product and equipment used with both flocks at each point in the production chain. The prevalence of C. jejuni in poultry products at retail stores was 58.97% (flock 1) and 69.23% (flock 2).  Most PFGE types were resistant to ciprofloxacin (95.45%) and tetracycline (81.82%); and multidrug resistant PFGE types were found in the final products. 

Consumer acceptability of Campylobacter interventions

A survey of consumers in Scotland found that better hygiene practices on farm, freezing chicken meat and vaccination of chickens were acceptable to the majority of participants whilst irradiation and chemical wash of chicken meat were acceptable to <50%.  Chemical wash and irradiation remained the least acceptable interventions.  Previous awareness of Campylobacter did not influence consumer concern of harmful bacteria on chicken meat. Overall, findings indicate that increasing consumer acceptability of the most effective interventions is likely to be a difficult process.

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