8 Feb 2012

13% drop in GBS under new chicken regulations

12:33 pm on 8 February 2012

Tighter regulations on the processing of fresh chicken have led to a drop of 13% in cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, an auto-immune condition. An Otago University study has found a direct link.

Guillain-Barre syndrome affects the nervous system and causes paralysis and permanent disability. Some 3% of people who get it die from it.

The study finds that stricter regulations introduced by the Food Safety Authority in 2006 have resulted in a 50% fall in hospital admissions for campylobacteriosis - which sometimes causes the syndrome.

Associate Professor Nick Wilson says that's directly linked to the decline in cases of Guillain-Barre.

Professor Wilson hopes New Zealand will continue to be vigilant about food health and safety, so that the incidence of the syndrome continues to fall.