31 Mar 2015

Campylobacter testing to be reviewed

6:40 am on 31 March 2015

The Primary Industries Ministry is reviewing its testing system for campylobacter in poultry.

Human neutrophil ingesting Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics.

Bacteria under a microscope (file photo). Photo: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Campylobactor is the bug responsible for most cases of human food poisoning and most of those were linked to infected poultry.

But the MPI said since performance targets were introduced in 2008, setting contamination limits for poultry processors, the number of notified cases of people infected with campylobacter had halved.

There had also been a significant reduction in birds testing positive for the bacteria.

Two years ago, the Ministry introduced a campylobacter detection limit and it was now reviewing the effectiveness of that and seeking feed-back on options, which included tightening up limits.

Poultry Industry Association executive director Michael Brooks said it had worked with the Ministry for years on this and the review was part of ongoing efforts to lower the infection rate.

"We meet regularly with MPI, we talk to them constantly, the results are provided, are shared between industry and MPI on a monthly basis, indeed the companies have them on a weekly basis.

"We're always talking through those results or always looking at options both domestically and internationally as to how we can improve the position."