Here is another tiny "monster" raising its ugly head in Europe and after the deadly E.coli infection episode that crippled and killed many in the EU nations, another such outbreak can be devastating to the people in this continent. Campylobacter, which was found to be present in Chicken carcasses processed across Europe, is considered very dangerous to humans and foods infected with it can be fatal to children and others with weak immunity. Surprisingly infection to Chicken was known for quite some time and still no serious attention was paid to this strange sounding bacteria till recently. Probably the fact that chicken meat is never consumed uncooked must have the reason for such a complacency on the part of the industry. What is not considered by the consumers is that chicken meat having surface infection can cause cross contamination to many products some of which are consumed without cooking. Now that this potential threat is highlighted by the scientists, appropriate counter measures are expected to be taken to address the Campylobacter contamination problem in the EU countries.
"The FSAI advised that poultry needs to be cooked thoroughly until the juices run clear and there is no pink meat remaining. Hand washing and disinfection of surfaces are essential after handling and preparing raw poultry and it's important that there is no cross contamination between the products. Handling and preparation of chicken and consumption of under-cooked chicken meat accounts for approximately 30pc of human cases of the infection. "When people are shopping they need to pack raw meat and poultry into a dedicated bag to keep it separate from other foods," Prof Reilly advised. "They should only ever use that bag for raw meat and poultry and should wash and disinfect it regularly. This will prevent harmful bacteria from the outside of poultry and meat packaging from contaminating other foods."
It is scary to know that Campylobacter is four times as dangerous as other well known pathogens like Salmonella and kids are most vulnerable to its attack. The poultry industry has to answer as to how it can continue with such a dangerous manufacturing regime with no consideration for consumer safety. Why the industry should leave to scientists to bring out the potential hazards that can be caused by this highly infectious microorganism, when it fully knows the adverse consequences of a food poisoning incidence on its credibility and viability? It is time for the EU food safety authorities to put in place a mandatory assessment protocol that will ensure that chicken products are adequately sanitized before leaving the processing premises. Considering that such food safety violations are continuing in spite of all the checkmates thought of, ultimate responsibility seems to be falling on the lap of the consumer to protect themselves from "food dangers" like the one posed by Campylobacter bacteria.