The Burden of Illness from Contaminated Food is Minimized or Eliminated for all People in Connecticut.

Number of incident infections in Connecticut associated with Campylobacter, one of the most common foodborne bacterial pathogens. (HCT2020)

7222019

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Story Behind the Curve

Campylobacter is one of the most common causes of diarrheal illness in the United States. Active surveillance through FoodNet indicates that about 14 cases are diagnosed each year for each 100,000 persons in the population. Many more cases go undiagnosed or unreported, and campylobacteriosis is estimated to affect over 1.3 million persons every year.

Although the number of Campylobacter cases has increased over the last few years, the 2015 rate of 20 cases per 100,000 population has remained the same compared to 2012-2014.

Partners

Connecticut Department of Public Health; Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection; State Department of Education; Connecticut Department of Agriculture; Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection; local public health agencies; infectious disease specialists; primary care providers; hospitals; food and restaurant industry; professional associations; food training providers; schools of agriculture and public health; organizations and coalitions focused on food, agriculture, and the environment; community service providers that focus on food security for at-risk populations; and others

What Works

Most cases of campylobacteriosis are associated with eating raw or undercooked poultry meat or from cross-contamination of other foods by these items. Outbreaks of Campylobacter have most often been associated with unpasteurized dairy products, contaminated water, poultry, and produce. FoodNet monitors the incidence and trends of human Campylobacter infection over time and conducts studies to identify risk factors for infection.

Some simple food handling practices can help prevent Campylobacter infections. These include: Cook all poultry products thoroughly. Make sure that the meat is cooked throughout (no longer pink) and any juices run clear. All poultry should be cooked to reach a minimum internal temperature of 165°F. If you are served undercooked poultry in a restaurant, send it back for further cooking. Wash hands with soap before preparing food and after handling raw foods of animal origin and before touching anything else. Prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen by using separate cutting boards for foods of animal origin and other foods and by thoroughly cleaning all cutting boards, countertops, and utensils with soap and hot water after preparing raw food of animal origin. Do not drink unpasteurized milk or untreated surface water.

For more information on Campylobacter infections see: http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/campylobacter/

Strategy

Expand Connecticut Qualified Food Operator (QFO) mandate to include all relevant employee groups in licensed food service establishments.

Update food code/regulations and assure regulatory compliance within the food industry.

Use standard risk-based protocols for FSE inspections and code enforcement across local jurisdictions.

Educate consumers on food safety practices for home and work environments and how to report suspected foodborne illness.

Educate providers and consumers on importance of evaluating and reporting suspected foodborne illness.

Disseminate and enhance guidance and protocols for food protection during extreme events, natural and other disasters.

Ensure appropriate training of food service employees.

Promote engagement of food service establishments (FSE) and food service workers in food safety education programs and application of food safety principles in practice.

Enhance institutional education on food safety practices and compliance with food code/regulations (day care, schools, residential programs, correctional facilities, long term care facilities, facilities serving older adults and immune-compromised populations).

Provide culturally congruent education on food safety for ethnic consumer groups and ethnic food service establishments.

Enhance inspector/sanitarian and industry training, and focus on risk-based inspections through training and field monitoring.

Promote utilization of Connecticut Food Core Program by local health departments with limited foodborne disease follow up capacity.

Ensure follow-up interviews for Campylobacter infections by state or local public health personnel.

Ensure that appropriate laboratory infrastructure and systems are in place for more rapid and timely identification and characterization of pathogens.

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