The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has just published news of the reduction in Campylobacter contamination in raw chicken tested between October and December 2015. 966 samples of fresh, whole chilled UK-produced chickens and packaging purchased from large retail outlets, smaller independent stores and butchers were tested.
11% of chickens tested positive for the highest level of contamination as opposed to 19% in the same period in 2014. Campylobacter was present in 59% of chicken samples, a reduction of 15% from 2014.
Whilst this is a step in the right direction, it still represents a high level of contamination. Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli live in the gastrointestinal tract of mammals including dogs. Contact with an infected person or animal can cause the bacteria to spread. The incubation period is usually between 2 and 5 days, but it can be as short as 1 day and up to 11 days.
Early symptoms in humans can include fever, headache and muscle pain which can be severe and last up to 24 hours. Bloody diarrhoea, cramps, abdominal pain and high fever typically follow and last for 2–10 days.
Many infected dogs are asymptomatic: 23 – 41% of healthy pet dogs have been identified as positive in tests (and will be shedding bacteria into the environment). Up to 88% of kennelled dogs were infected. Stress, the presence of other diseases or pregnancy may increase susceptibility to develop the disease. Dogs typically suffer watery, bile-stained, bloody diarrhoea including mucus for between 5 and 15 days. Occasionally diarrhoea can last for months and inflammation of the gall-bladder (cholecystitis) and bacterial infection of the bloodstream (bacteraemia) can result. Infected individuals may remain as carriers even after treatment with antibiotics and continue to present a risk to any other animals (including humans) with which they come into contact.
Make you want to barf or feed BARF?