News & Updates

Understanding the sources of human Campylobacter infection in Scotland

Research published today shows that chicken remains the biggest source of campylobacter infection in Scotland.

We commissioned the University of Aberdeen to compare clinical strains of campylobacter from the Grampian area with strains isolated from chickens, cattle, sheep, pigs and wild birds. This was used to determine the proportion of infections in Scotland from these potential sources.

While campylobacter remains the most common source of foodborne illness there has been a reduction in those contracting campylobacter from chicken. The proportion of cases attributed to chicken decreased from 55-75% to 52-68% when compared to data collected between 2012-2015.

These findings will assist Food Standards Scotland in developing a new campylobacter strategy for Scotland. The strategy will consider how we can achieve a continued decline of campylobacter cases from chicken. We will also identify opportunities to work with other organisations to reduce the risks from sources other than chicken which may be caused by environmental exposure.

Food Standards Scotland would like to remind consumers that chicken is safe as long you follow good food hygiene practices at home.  

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Campylobacter Attribution Extension

Campylobacter continues to be the most common cause of foodborne illness in Scotland (a situation which is similar to the UK and most of the developed world).

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