Prevalence of Campylobacter and Salmonella in Raw Chicken on Retail Sale in the Republic of Ireland

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To assess the current risks to consumers from Campylobacter and Salmonella in raw chicken products sold in the Republic of Ireland, a retail survey was undertaken to define their prevalence. Samples (n = 510) were analyzed using protocols based on ISO 10272-1:2006 and ISO 6579:2002. Processor codes on pack labels showed that 67% of samples were produced in the Republic of Ireland and 25% in the United Kingdom. Salmonella was present in 5.1% of samples, but the eight serovars found caused less than 7% of human salmonellosis reported in the Republic of Ireland. The results suggest that on-farm controls to limit Salmonella infection of broilers have been successful and that in Ireland raw chicken is not a significant cause of salmonellosis in humans. The overall prevalence of Campylobacter spp. was 84.3%. Isolation by the ISO method found 52.7% of samples to be positive, but overgrowth by contaminants was frequently evident. Therefore, in addition to enrichment, an homogenized sample was plated directly onto modified charcoal cefoperazone deoxycholate agar, and this detected a further 31.6%. Speciation of isolates (n = 426) determined that 67% were Campylobacter jejuni and 32% were Campylobacter coli. These species are the most common cause of campylobacteriosis in man. The results indicate that there is a need for poultry producers to introduce interventions to minimize the exposure of consumers in the Republic of Ireland to Campylobacter spp., as has been successfully done for Salmonella.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Food Microbiology Branch, Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute, Newforge Lane, Belfast, BT9 5PX, Northern Ireland, UK. 2: Food Microbiology Branch, Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute, Newforge Lane, Belfast, BT9 5PX, Northern Ireland, UK

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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