Prevent Campylobacteriosis from Campylobacter
The CDC identifies more cases of foodborne illnesses from Campylobacter than any other foodborne bacteria. According to the CDC, Campylobacter causes about 1.3 million illnesses in the United States.
Thankfully, an illness from Campylobacter seldom has long-term effects, but in some instances, campylobacteriosis (an infection from Campylobacter) can lead to severe medical conditions than just temporary diarrhea and abdominal cramping. More severe conditions include hemolytic uremic syndrome and Guillain–Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disorder where one’s own immunes system attacks the peripheral nervous system leading to muscular weakness and potential complications with breathing and blood pressure.
To protect yourself and those around you from eating food contaminated with Campylobacter, know the risks. First, those most vulnerable to severe complications from campylobacteriosis include young children and immunocompromised people. According to the CDC, people with weakened immune systems, like those with thalassemia, hypogammaglobulinemia, AIDS, or receiving chemotherapy are at higher risk for life-threatening infections from Campylobacter (CDC).
The most common route of transmission for Campylobacter is raw chicken. People most commonly become ill from Campylobacter by ingesting contaminated undercooked poultry or foods that have been poorly prepared.
- Avoid unpasteurized milk products
- Do not consume under-cooked chicken. If the internal temperature has not reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit, chicken breasts are not fully cooked—even if it looks Here is a link to the safe minimum cooking temperatures: https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html
- Wash all produce thoroughly and peel fruits when possible
Contamination of food occurs during processing when animal fees come in contact with the meat surfaces or product. Heat easily destroys Campylobacter, so it is important to make sure your food is fully cooked, and your dairy and apple cider products have been pasteurized.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the onset of symptoms of an infection from Campylobacter occurs between two to five days after exposure (Mayo Clinic). Symptoms include diarrhea (which is often bloody), fever, and stomach cramping.