As a matter of fact, most cases of food poisoning are never linked back to their source - Eric Schlosser


image by: Anastacio Rommel


Bacteria that work together to cause infection

Campylobacter jejuni is a bacteria that I feel a special affinity for because I've worked with it, back in my first ever summer project. Unfortunately it's not a very nice bacteria and can lead to bad stomach illnesses with some rare but quite threatening complications. It's found in chicken meat and cheese as it is perfectly capible of surviving happily in animals without causing them any diseases.

Food Standards Agency

Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK.

Campylobacter is found most often in food, particularly in chicken. Food is contaminated when it comes into contact with animal feces. Any raw poultry may contain Campylobacter, including organic and “free range” products. In fact, studies have found Campylobacter contamination on up to 88 percent of chicken carcasses. Despite the commonness of Campylobacter, however, infections are usually isolated events, and widespread outbreaks are rare.


Campylobacter infection is a common foodborne illness. You get it from eating raw or undercooked poultry. You can also get it from coming in contact with contaminated packages of poultry. Symptoms include •Diarrhea •Cramping •Abdominal pain •Fever •Nausea and vomiting

Campylobacter are a group of germs (bacteria) that are a common cause of food poisoning. Typically, food poisoning causes gastroenteritis, an infection of the gut (intestines), leading to diarrhoea and often being sick (vomiting) too. Campylobacter bacteria are commonly found in raw meat, particularly poultry. Infection usually causes relatively mild symptoms but complications, including lack of fluid in the body (dehydration), can occur in some cases. The usual treatment is to drink lots of fluid to avoid dehydration. Antibiotic medicines are sometimes needed in severe cases.

Virulence characteristics of five new Campylobacter jejuni chicken isolates

Campylobacter enteritis is considered to be a food-bourne disese rather than food poisoning, with infections being derived from a range of foods and also water-based environmental sources. Asymptomatic infections, watery and bloody diarrhea have been reported in humans. Epidemiological studies have shown that human Campylobacter infection may vary according to geographical area and even with age.

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