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News and analysis on the global poultry
and animal feed industries.
Poultry Processing & Slaughter / Broilers & Layers
on February 19, 2014

Human infections of Campylobacter, Salmonella decreased in EU in 2012

While Salmonella infections are on a downward trend, it is too soon to tell with Campylobacter, EFSA says

Human cases of Campylobacteriosis and Salmonellosis both decreased in the EU in 2012, the annual report on zoonoses and foodborne outbreaks in the European Union for 2012 revealed. While human Salmonella cases have continued to drop over the past seven years, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said it is premature to suggest that Campylobacter is on a downward trend.

Campylobacteriosis is still the most reported disease in the UK, accounting for 214,000 cases of infections. Typical symptoms include diarrhea, fever and headache. The bacterium that causes Campylobacter is mostly found in chicken meat.

"It is encouraging to see that cases of Campylobacteriosis have gone down in 2012. But more investigation and monitoring is needed to see if this is the beginning of a trend," said Marta Hugas, acting head of EFSA's Risk Assessment and Scientific Assistance Department.

Over the years, Salmonellosis has been decreasing, with 91,034 reported cases in 2012. This is mainly due to the successful Salmonella control programs put in place by EU member states and the European Commission in poultry, the report stated. Most member states met their Salmonella reduction target for poultry flocks. Salmonella, which typically causes fever, abdominal cramps and vomiting, was most often found in poultry meat.

Johan Giesecke, chief scientist at European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), added: "The decreasing trend of Salmonellosis is very encouraging. However our evidence shows that any Salmonella serovar can cause human illness which requires continued surveillance and vigilance."

The report on zoonoses and foodbourne outbreaks is produced jointly by the EFSA and the ECDC every year, using data collected by EU member states.

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