Campylobacter infections on the rise

04-07-2006 | |

Health and food safety experts in New Zealand say they are at a loss to explain a big rise in the number of cases of the food poisoning bug, campylobacter.

Campylobacter , one of the most common causes of food poisoning, is more commonly found in rural parts of the country, but is now affecting larger numbers of city residents.

Food Safety Authority (FSA) principal public health advisor, Donald Campbell, says that in recent months cases have jumped from an average 200 a week to 250 for no apparent reason.

Scientists, food safety experts and health professionals are using computer modelling to find ways to stop the number of cases increasing.

There are fresh calls for consumers to handle chicken properly after the Food Safety Authority reported recently that more than 90% of raw chicken in New Zealand could be contaminated with campylobacter.

On average, New Zealand consumes about 36 kilograms of chicken per person every year.