Infectious Diseases 2019

Infectious Diseases 2019

Prevalence of Campylobacter in retail chicken in three Australian states

Journal of Food Protection (2019) Vol. 82(12):2126–2134 7 December, 2019

The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and distribution of Campylobacter species in a variety of fresh and frozen meat and offal products collected from retail outlets in New South Wales (NSW), Queensland (Qld), and Victoria (Vic). A total of 1,490 chicken, beef, lamb, and pork samples were collected from Australian supermarkets and butcher shops over a 2-year sampling period (October 2016 to October 2018). Campylobacter spp. were detected in 90% of chicken meat and 73% of chicken offal products (giblet and liver), with significantly lower prevalence in lamb (38%), pork (31%), and beef (14%) offal (kidney and liver). Although retail chicken meat was frequently contaminated with Campylobacter, the level of contamination was generally low. Where quantitative analysis was conducted, 98% of chicken meat samples, on average, had <10,000 CFU Campylobacter per carcass, with 10% <21 CFU per carcass. Campylobacter coli was the most frequently recovered species in chicken meat collected in NSW (53%) and Vic (56%) and in chicken offal collected in NSW (77%), Qld (59%), and Vic (58%). For chicken, beef, and pork offal, the prevalence of Campylobacter spp. was significantly higher on delicatessen products compared with prepackaged products.