Salmonellosis: risk of transmission through poultry

Updated:2015-04-10 Clicks:12061

Salmonella cross-contaminated from raw poultry meat due to improper handling in kitchen could be a severe health problem in China, according to CFSA scientists.

The CFSA open day held in January 3rd announced that the improper handling of raw poultry meat in the kitchen could contribute to a huge amount of nontyphoidal salmonellosis cases in China.

Nontyphoidal salmonellosis is one of the most frequently reported foodborne diseases in the world and it often causes the self-limited gastroenteritis, while bacteremia and systematic infections could also occur among those elders, children and with immunologically disability. It is estimated that about 9 millions of salmonellosis cases annually occurred and 800 of them die of it.

There is a wide range of foods implicated in foodborne illness attributable to Samonella. Foods of animal origin, especially poultry and poultry products, are often involved in sporadic cases and outbreaks of human salmonellosis. The Salmonella contamination in chicken and chicken products had been widely investigated in many countries of the world but the prevalence varied from 10% to 80%. A specific surveillance program sponsored by CFSA showed 41.6% of chicken carcasses were contaminated with Salmonella at the retail level in China.

It believed that cross-contamination events such as use of the same cutting board or spreading of pathogen via the kitchen environment were greater importance than the risk associated with undercooking of poultry meat. A preliminary investigation conducted in 251 Chinese families found that only one-third of interviewees reported to separate the cutting board for raw meats and RTE foods and among those not separated, only about 50% of them intended to kill the bacteria using soaps and other reagents. A quantitative risk assessment indicated those improper handling of raw poultry meat in the kitchen might link to more than 3 millions salmonllosis cases occurred in one year and the scenario analysis estimated 2 or 1.2 millions illness could be avoided if cooks separate their cutting board between the raw and cooked or wash their cutting board with soaps and other reagents, respectively.

The CFSA scientist suggested consumers to prefer those frozen and packaged poultry meats at the retail, separate their cutting boards for the raw and cooked foods in the kitchen, sterilize the cutting board with soap and other reagents with the bactericidal effects and completely wash hands in the proper way.