Keywords: campylobacteriosis, chicken preparation, consumers, food poisoning, cross-contamination, dose response, exposure, households, quantitative risk assessment, microbiological risk assessment, undercooking, Germany, modelling, bacteria
Quantitative microbiological risk assessment of campylobacteriosis cases in the German population due to consumption of chicken prepared in homes
Infection with Campylobacter spp. is one of the leading causes of food poisoning in Europe. In this work, a retail product to consumer model was developed in order to examine how chicken prepared in German homes exposes the consumer to Campylobacter spp. and the level of resulting illness. The model was designed to include a number of important factors in the exposure assessment and starts with the family unit where one person cooks for the whole household. The behaviour of the cook determines the exposure level of the rest of the family, but the exposure can vary between the family members. Both exposure to the bacteria from undercooking of contaminated chicken meat and from cross-contamination by hands and from the kitchen environment were addressed. The number of illnesses in Germany due to preparation and consumption of fresh and frozen chicken legs and breasts in home was estimated. The model shows that reducing the Campylobacter load on the chicken may result in a greater reduction in the incidence of human illness than reducing prevalence of contaminated products.