Reducing foodborne Campylobacter by 20% by 2025 in NZ

Tuesday, 31 March, 2020

Reducing foodborne <em>Campylobacter </em>by 20% by 2025 in NZ

Deputy Director-General for New Zealand Food Safety Bryan Wilson has announced a goal to significantly reduce foodborne Campylobacter poisoning by 20% by 2025.

"Campylobacter is the most common cause of notifiable foodborne illness in New Zealand," Wilson said.

"Working with the poultry industry, New Zealand Food Safety's risk management strategy has achieved more than a 50% reduction in foodborne cases since 2006. This is a substantial reduction and one that we could not have achieved without partnership and support from industry. But, the rate of gastrointestinal illness caused by this bug remains high."

The NZ government will continue to collaborate with industry to reduce Campylobacter rates with an updated strategy that includes enhanced consumer education, better hygiene through the poultry processing and food distribution chain, and improved measures at the poultry farm level.

New Zealand Food Safety has also commissioned a study to add a high level of scientific rigour to efforts to reduce foodborne illnesses, and the findings of the study 'Source Assigned Campylobacteriosis in New Zealand' have been released in March 2020.

The results from the study found more than 80% of human foodborne cases are likely due to the consumption of poultry meat.

"The intensive 12-month study included interviews with 666 individuals who'd been infected with the bug.

"As well as identifying the sources of Campylobacter illnesses in humans, the study identified several factors that may increase the likelihood of an individual contracting the disease.

"We'll continue our work with industry to drive down the level of Campylobacter in poultry by understanding where the bacteria enter the food chain and where cross-contamination is likely happening," Wilson said.

To download the 'Source Assigned Campylobacteriosis in New Zealand Study (SACNZS)' report, click here [PDF, 5.4 MB].

Image credit: ©

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