Prevalence of Campylobacter spp. in raw retail poultry on sale in Northern Ireland

J Food Prot. 2009 Sep;72(9):1830-5. doi: 10.4315/0362-028x-72.9.1830.


A year-long survey of fresh, retail poultry products on sale in Northern Ireland was undertaken to define the prevalence of Campylobacter spp. by using protocols based on ISO (standard) 10272-1:2006. Incubation at 37 and 42 degrees C was undertaken to increase the diversity of isolates obtained. Overall, 652 isolates were identified as Campylobacter spp. by using PCR and amplified fragment length polymorphic typing. Phenotyping wrongly identified 21% of isolates. Prevalences of Campylobacter found were chicken, 91% (n = 336); turkey, 56% (n = 77); and duck, 100% (n = 17). Prevalence rates for chicken produced in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales were similar, with a mean value of 91%. The prevalences in product from the latter two countries were much higher than were found in two United Kingdom-wide surveys of chicken. The incubation temperature did not affect the relative proportions of the species isolated (P > 0.05). Campylobacter jejuni composed 64.6% of isolates, Campylobacter coli, 27.4%, and Campylobacter lari, 1%. Most cases of human campylobacteriosis are caused by C. jejuni and C. coli. The overall Campylobacter prevalence results are consistent with Northern Ireland surveys undertaken since 2000, and indicate that United Kingdom strategies to control Campylobacter in chicken have not had a significant effecton the prevalence of this pathogen in retail products on sale in Northern Ireland.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Campylobacter / classification
  • Campylobacter / genetics
  • Campylobacter / isolation & purification*
  • Chickens
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Commerce* / standards
  • Commerce* / statistics & numerical data
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Ireland / epidemiology
  • Meat / microbiology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prevalence
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology