Infectious Diseases 2020

Infectious Diseases 2020

The Netherlands: The prevalence of selected pathogens in chickens for meat production

25 September, 2020

In 2018 and 2019 the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment [Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu] (RIVM) and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority [Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit] (NVWA) investigated how often some of these pathogens occurred in broilers. The study involved broilers at 198 farms as well as 132 livestock farmers, family members and employees. RIVM assessed whether the same pathogens also occurred in these persons. Of the pathogens investigated, ESBL-producing bacteria were found most often, namely in the broilers on 36% of the farms. Among livestock farmers and family members, these bacteria were found in 7% of participants. This is comparable to the percentage in the general Dutch population. Campylobacter was found on 32% of broiler farms. This is comparable to the numbers from Campylobacter surveillance conducted between 1999 and 2002. Campylobacter was also found in two of the human participants.Salmonella surveillance is carried out on all broiler farms according to European legislation. Salmonella was reported in broilers from 11% of the farms. Salmonella was also found in one human participant. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Listeria were found on very few broiler farms. 

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