Infectious Diseases 2019

Infectious Diseases 2019

Current status of Campylobacter food poisoning in Japan

Food Safety (2019) Vol 7(3): 61-73 9 November, 2019

Although the epidemiological data compiled by the  Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) are based on passive surveillance, the number of incidents caused by C. jejuni/coli has increased since 1997, and those incidents have remained the most commonly occurring bacterial foodborne infection since 2003, replacing Vibrio parahaemolytics and Salmonella spp. which had previously been the major bacteria responsible for food poisoning in Japan.  
Although in 2006 the number of cases of Campylobacter food poisoning was 3,439 on the basis of the MHLW statistics, it was estimated to be 1,545,363 on the basis of active surveillance, suggesting that passive surveillance yields an incidence about 450 times lower than that revealed by active surveillance.
Epidemiological investigations of Campylobacter infection in humans in Japan have shown that chicken meat and its products are the most important sources of infection, as is the case for other industrialized nations.
Recently, large outbreaks involving a total of 875 patients traceable to sushi topped with raw or undercooked chicken meat occurred at outdoor events in Metropolitan Tokyo and Fukuoka Prefecture in 2016.