Campylobacter is the major cause of human gastroenteritis in Australia each year. Poultry, while not the sole contributor, is accepted as one of the sources of this organism. One way to improve the safety of chicken meat for human consumption is faster detection of Campylobacter jejuni/coli on the finished product.
Current culture-based methods for detecting and determining levels of C. jejuni/coli in the processing plant are slow. They can take up to two to three days to reach a definitive answer. In contrast, this project aims to cut that time to within one to two hours. It uses break-point quantitation to create a validated, rapid and user-friendly technique to identify the presence and determine levels of C. jejuni/coli. With this improvement, processors can use real-time risk management strategies to limit the contribution of the industry to human campylobacteriosis.
Food-borne illness is a major social burden in Australia. This improved ability to reduce poultry-associated occurrences of campylobacteriosis will have significant economic and social benefits in the community.