Campylobacter illness associated with a private event
Posted August 30, 2017 at 1:33 pm
- Public Health investigated an outbreak of Campylobacter associated with a private party held on June 24, 2017.
- On August 10th, Public Health learned about two ill persons with lab-confirmed Campylobacter that attended the same private party. Each case reported multiple other ill persons associated with the same party. None of the other ill persons were interviewed to confirm illness details.
- Food for the party was prepared in the private home and included chicken, a food item known to be associated with Campylobacter. However, chicken was purchased pre-cooked and was cooked a second time. No single food item was identified as the definitive source of illness.
- Campylobacteriosis is an infection of the intestines caused by the Campylobacter bacteria. Most people will get diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever within 1 to 10 days after swallowing the bacteria, but usually between 2 to 5 days. The diarrhea may be bloody and can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The illness typically lasts about one week. Some infected persons do not have any symptoms. In persons with compromised immune systems, Campylobacter occasionally spreads to the bloodstream and causes a serious, life-threatening infection.
- Most cases of campylobacteriosis are associated with consumption of undercooked meat (especially poultry) or ready-to-eat foods that have been contaminated with juices from raw meat. Person-to-person transmission is uncommon. Large outbreaks of campylobacteriosis have been associated with consumption of contaminated water, unpasteurized milk, or cheese. Humans can become infected after contact with infected pets, especially puppies and kittens.
More information about campylobacter
General advice for reducing risk of contracting campylobacteriosis:
- Cook all poultry products thoroughly. Make sure that the meat is cooked throughout (no longer pink) and any juices run clear. All poultry should be cooked to reach a minimum internal temperature of 165°F.
- If you are served undercooked poultry in a restaurant, send it back for further cooking.
- Wash hands with soap before preparing food.
- Wash hands with soap after handling raw foods of animal origin and before touching anything else.
- Prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen by using separate cutting boards for foods of animal origin and other foods and by thoroughly cleaning all cutting boards, countertops, and utensils with soap and hot water after preparing raw food of animal origin.
- Do not drink unpasteurized milk or untreated surface water.
- Make sure that persons with diarrhea, especially children, wash their hands carefully and frequently with soap to reduce the risk of spreading the infection.
- Wash hands with soap after contact with pet feces.
PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS
Public Health contacted the party host to discuss what foods were served, how they were prepared, and to ensure no ongoing source of infection remained. No concerns for food safety practices were identified.