In Australia, over 15,000 cases of campylobacteriosis occur annually; however, recent findings from case-control studies suggest that poultry may not be the primary etiological agent. To determine the incidence of Campylobacter species on Australian poultry, a qualitative and quantitative survey of different poultry products was undertaken. The qualitative study examined 428 poultry carcasses from 42 processors. Overall, 93.7% of the carcasses were found to be positive for Campylobacter species, of which 84.1% were identified as Campylobacter jejuni by hippurate hydrolysis, and 9.6% as other Campylobacter species. A longitudinal study over 6 weeks on 27 broiler carcasses from a single processor found an average Campylobacter species count of 163 cfu/cm², with a range of 5-1,850 cfu/cm² excluding one carcass that was negative. The real health risk of this carriage, however, cannot be determined accurately without further investigation of the presence of virulence factors and more accurate species identification.
Journal of Food Safety Vol. 28, Issue 3, p. 376-388