Date PostedMarch 10, 2013

Watch Out for Campylobacter Breakouts

What exactly is Campylobacter? Campylobacter is a very common cause of foodborne illness, even more common than many think. A recent case in Alaska is an example of the dangers of this bacterium to cause food poisoning in humans.

Read this article from about the outbreak in Alaska:

rawmilk1-iphoneThe number of cases in an ongoing Campylobacter outbreak tied to raw milk in Alaska has risen from 4 to 18 individuals, the Alaska Division of Public Health announced on Friday.

Two patients have been hospitalized. Health officials expect the number of cases to rise.

All of the cases have been connected to raw milk from a farm that acts as a cow-share program on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.


Campylobacter is one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the world and there are a number of outbreaks that have been recorded. The main sources of the outbreak include raw and undercooked poultry, unpasteurized milk, contaminated water. The symptoms normally take around 2-5 days to kick in and the symptoms include diarrhea  cramps, fever and vomiting. The person is usually sick for about 2-10 days.

The best ways to prevent Campylobacter contamination is to:

  • Always cook meat, especially poultry, to safe minimum temperatures.
  • Keep raw meat, especially poultry, separate from other foods.
  • Do not drink raw or unpasteurized milk.

If you do contract a foodborne illness caused by this bacterium, drink plenty of fluids and get rest. If you cannot drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration or if your symptoms are severe, call your doctor. In more severe cases, certain antibiotics can be used and can shorten the duration of symptoms if given early in the illness.


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