Welcome to USDA's Food Safety and Inspection
Service "Food Safety At Home" podcast series, featuring topics
for the safe handling, preparation and storage of meat, poultry
and processed egg products. So, sit back, turn up the volume and
What is Campylobacter?
Campylobacter bacteria is the second most commonly reported
cause of foodborne illness and one of the most common bacterial
causes of diarrheal illness in the United States.
Campylobacter jejuni, the strain associated with most reported
human infections, may be present in the body without causing
perceptible illness. Campylobacter organisms can be found
everywhere in the environment and are commonly found in the
intestinal tracts of animals and some humans. These bacteria
pass through the body in the feces and cycle through the
Infection caused by Campylobacter bacteria is called
Campylobacteriosis and is usually caused by consuming
unpasteurized milk, raw or undercooked meat or poultry; other
contaminated foods and water, as well as by direct contact with
contaminated feces from infected animals.
Symptoms of Campylobacter infection usually occur within 2 to
10 days after the bacteria are ingested and include fever,
abdominal cramps and diarrhea that is often bloody. In some
cases, physicians prescribe antibiotics when diarrhea is severe.
While most people who contract Campylobacteriosis recover
completely within 2 to 5 days, some Campylobacter infections can
be fatal, resulting in an estimated 124 deaths each year.
Complications can include meningitis, urinary tract infections,
reactive arthritis, and rarely, Guillain-Barre syndrome which is
an unusual type of paralysis.
For additional food safety information, please visit our website
Remember to always Be Food Safe and Clean, Separate, Cook and
Chill to reduce your risk of foodborne illness.
Thanks for listening to this Food Safety At Home podcast. Let us know what you think of this podcast by sending
your comments to