Quantification of campylobacter species cross-contamination during handling of contaminated fresh chicken parts in kitchens
Numerous outbreak investigations and case-control studies for campylobacteriosis have provided evidence that handling Campylobacter-contaminated chicken products is a risk factor for infection and illness. There is currently extremely limited quantitative data on the levels of Campylobacter cross-contamination in the kitchen, hindering risk assessments for the pathogen commodity combination of Campylobacter and chicken meat. An exposure assessment needs to quantify the transfer of the bacteria from chicken to hands and the kitchen environment and from there onto ready-to-eat foods. We simulated some typical situations in kitchens and quantified the Campylobacter transfer from naturally contaminated chicken parts most commonly used in Germany. One scenario simulated the seasoning of five chicken legs and the reuse of the same plate for cooked meat. In another, five chicken breast filets were cut into small slices on a wooden board where, without intermediate cleaning, a cucumber was sliced. We also investigated the transfer of the pathogen from chicken via hands to a bread roll. The numbers of Campylobacter present on the surfaces of the chicken parts, hands, utensils, and ready-to-eat foods were detected by using Preston enrichment and colony counting after surface plating on Karmali agar. The mean transfer rates from legs and filets to hands were 2.9 and 3.8%. The transfer from legs to the plate (0.3%) was significantly smaller (P < 0.01) than the percentage transferred from filets to the cutting board and knife (1.1%). Average transfer rates from hands or kitchen utensils to ready-to-eat foods ranged from 2.9 to 27.5%
Luber, P. / Brynestad, S. / Topsch, D. / et al: Quantification of campylobacter species cross-contamination during handling of contaminated fresh chicken parts in kitchens. 2006.
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