Food-borne Campylobacter bacteria

15 Sep 2015
Brussels, Belgium
European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

​The European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety held a meeting with the European Commission, ECDC and EFSA on the risks posed by food-borne Campylobacter bacteria and the possible control options.

Dr Andrea Ammon, ECDC’s Acting Director, presented the surveillance data of trends and antimicrobial resistance in human campylobacteriosis cases in the EU and EEA countries over the past seven years (2008-2014).

The bacterium Campylobacter can cause an enteric illness in humans, with fever, diarrhoea and abdominal pain as main symptoms. In rare cases, the infection may lead to severe complications like reactive arthritis or paralysing Guillain-Barré syndrome. Raw poultry meat is often contaminated with campylobacters, and eating undercooked chicken, or ready-to-eat foods that have been in contact with raw chicken, is the most common source of food borne infection. EFSA has estimated that broiler meat may directly account for 20-30% of human campylobacteriosis cases.

With between 2.4 and 9 million estimated clinical human cases in the EU/EEA annually, this disease is the most frequently reported food-borne illness in the EU. The cost to public health systems and to lost productivity in the EU is estimated by EFSA to be around EUR 2.4 billion a year. To protect consumers from this threat, the EU has adopted an integrated approach to food safety from the farm to the fork, consisting of both risk assessment and risk management measures and involving the Member States, the Commission, Parliament, EFSA and ECDC.

See the Director’s presentation

Agenda item 6 ‘Exchange of views with the Commission, ECDC and EFSA on the food-borne bacterium campylobacter’ started at 10:45:00


Read more:


ENVI Committee agenda
Campylobacter health topic page