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Briefing on Agency’s Efforts with Respect to Campylobacter

National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection
May 2000 Public Meeting

Briefing Paper on Current Thinking



  • In May of 1999, the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI) asked the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) to evaluate options for defining a Campylobacter performance standard or, in the alternative, a performance standard that would accomplish the same public health objective. In response, the Meat and Poultry Subcommittee of NACMCF made a series of recommendations. The purpose of this briefing is to the review Agency’s actions in response to these recommendations.

Review of Agency Actions

  • NACMCF Recommendation: Based on the results of the ARS on-farm study, interventions should be developed for on-farm practices.

FSIS Response: FSIS is in close touch with Dr. Stern, the ARS researcher. While he is studying a number of interventions, his work has yet to support that any of these interventions are particularly efficacious.

  • NACMCF Recommendation: New method for enumerating Campylobacter that was developed by ARS should be used by FSIS.

FSIS Response: This method has been used by FSIS since October of 1999. Recent data have revealed that there has been a significant reduction in the number of Campylobacter on each carcass (carcasses) since 1994 – 1995. This reduction may be related to the implementation of HACCP.

  • NACMCF Recommendation: Studies should be undertaken to examine infectious doses of Campylobacter.

FSIS Response: FSIS risk assessors are studying the dose- response relationship for Campylobacter based on human and animal model data from the scientific literature. They report that it is difficult at this point to derive a dose – illness relationship.

  • NACMCF Recommendation: A Campylobacter risk assessment should be conducted.

FSIS Response: FSIS is planning to conduct a risk assessment in FY 2001.

  • NACMCF Recommendation: Irradiation should be considered for raw meat and poultry products.

FSIS Response: FSIS has provided for irradiation of both types of products.

  • NACMCF Recommendation: FSIS should work with ARS to evaluate effectiveness of pathogen intervention treatments for both Salmonella and Campylobacter.

FSIS Response: ARS's three year study is looking at interventions for those pathogens on farm. FSIS surveyed poultry plants in March and April of 2000 to assess pathogen interventions that are in place.

  • NACMF Recommendation: FSIS should obtain data for one full year for current broiler baseline survey so that a comparison can be made to previous baseline survey.

FSIS Response: A national baseline is underway.


Table 1: Severe Foodborne Illness Caused by Campylobacter spp.
Table 2: Healthy People 2000 Objectives, Campylobacter spp.
Table 3: HP 2010 Objective 10-1, Campylobacter infections


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Last modified:  September 05, 2000