NZ poultry blamed for country’s record Campylobacter cases

NEW ZEALAND - New Zealand's poultry processors were attacked by scientists this weekend for failing to reduce levels of the food poisoning bacteria campylobacter, which affects more people in the small country than any other nation.

Scientists at the University of Otago said in a statement that the country should ban fresh chicken to help cut down on the number of people hospitalized with camplyobacter.

The researchers compared human cases reported in New Zealand with data from other countries in 2003 and found it to have more than three times the rate of infection than neighbour Australia, and 30 times that of the United States.

But officials at New Zealand's Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) have reiterated that the actual source of the country's high number of cases is still not known. And poultry processors say they cannot therefore take all the responsibility for the rising infection rate.

"There's nothing in the farming practices or processing industry of New Zealand that is any different to anywhere else in the world," said Michael Brooks, executive director of the country's poultry industry association (PIANZ).

calendar icon 12 July 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
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