Safety testing by food industry in Canada started since March, report says

Campylobacteriosis on the rise in county

Safe food handling prevents spread of food-borne illness

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Through July, Shasta County Public Health has received more reports of campylobacteriosis and other diarrheal illnesses this year than usual. Other California counties have also received elevated numbers of reports of campylobacteriosis. While a connection between cases has not been made so far, investigation is continuing to rule out a common source of infection. Campylobacteriosis usually occurs in single, sporadic cases, but it can also occur in outbreaks.

Causes of campylobacteriosis and other diarrheal illness include: consuming raw or undercooked poultry, drinking unpasteurized milk or contaminated water and cross-contamination of food surfaces or cutting boards when preparing food. A very small number of Campylobacter organisms (fewer than 500) can cause illness in humans. Even one drop of juice from raw chicken meat can infect a person.

Campylobacteriosis illness is much more common in the summer than in the winter,” said Lou Anne Cummings, MD, MPH, Deputy Health Officer. “It is very important to always practice safe food handling to help prevent you and your family from getting this unpleasant illness.”

The symptoms of campylobacteriosis include: diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain and fever within two to five days of exposure. The diarrhea may be bloody, and accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Campylobacter is one of the most common causes of diarrheal illness. Most cases go undiagnosed, since most people recover completely in one week to ten days without antibiotic treatment.

To prevent this illness, simple and easy prevention measures can be followed:

Cook all poultry products and other foods thoroughly. Make sure meat is no longer pink and that juices run clear. All poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees.

Prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen by using separate cutting boards. Carefully clean all cutting boards, countertops, and utensils with soap and hot water after preparing raw food of animal origin, and let the surface air dry before using it again.

Thaw raw poultry on a bottom shelf in the refrigerator so that blood or juices don’t drip.

Do not reuse marinades from raw meat or poultry unless boiled first.

Never put cooked poultry or meat back on the plate that held the raw product.

Wash hands with soap before preparing food or after handling raw meat or poultry.

For more information about campylobacteriosis, visit or call 225-5787.


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