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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTERVENTIONS AND METHODOLOGIES TO REDUCE HUMAN FOOD-BORNE BACTERIAL PATHOGENS IN CHICKENS

Location: Poultry Microbiological Safety Research

Title: Comparison of the microbial load of Campylobacter found on retail chicken breasts in California and Tennessee.

Author
item Line, John

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 14, 2007
Publication Date: February 21, 2007
Citation: Line, J.E. 2007. Comparison of the microbial load of Campylobacter found on retail chicken breasts in California and Tennessee.Meeting Abstract.

Technical Abstract: Each year in the United States, it is estimated that over a million persons are infected with Campylobacter. FoodNet is a collaborative effort among CDC, participating state health departments, USDA, and FDA which measures the burden of laboratory-confirmed Campylobacter infection. Over the past eight years, FoodNet has noted a decrease in the overall incidence of laboratory-confirmed Campylobacter infections. Despite this decrease in overall incidence, there is substantial variation in site-specific incidence of laboratory-confirmed Campylobacter infection. For example, in 2003, the incidence of laboratory-confirmed Campylobacter infection in California was 27 infections per 100,000 persons whereas the incidence of laboratory-confirmed Campylobacter infection in Tennessee was 8 infections per 100,000 persons. A higher incidence of laboratory-confirmed Campylobacter infections in California when compared to other FoodNet sites, including Tennessee, has been consistently observed since 1996. The variation in site-specific incidence of laboratory-confirmed Campylobacter infection is not well understood. To better understand this variation, a collaborative study is being conducted to quantify the microbial load of Campylobacter found on chicken products in retail grocery stores in California and Tennessee. Grocery stores will be randomly selected from specific geographic areas within the FoodNet catchment area with a high incidence of laboratory-confirmed Campylobacter infection: California (Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties) and with a low incidence of laboratory-confirmed Campylobacter infection: Tennessee (Davidson county). An average of 5 new grocery stores per month will be visited by each site. During the study period, there should be approximately 300 grocery stores visited. Each month 5 stores will be visited and 2 packages of fresh (not frozen) whole chicken with skin will be purchased at each store. The samples will be rinsed and the rinses will be shipped to the ARS PMSRU laboratory in Athens, GA for quantitation of the microbial load of Campylobacter spp. on the chicken. The study is currently in a 2-3 month pilot phase; after which, the study will be launched and will continue for 12 months. Investigators include Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) and/or Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net) staff at 2 Emerging Infections Program (EIP) sites and microbiologists at the Agriculture Research Services of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA-ARS). Funding for this study is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014
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