The Ministry of Primary Industries embarked on a strategy in 2006, which it says has since seen a 57% decrease in notified cases of campylobacter by conducting regular audits of poultry processors and monitoring new strains.
“We are now in the process of reviewing the strategy,” said Jo Goodhew, adding that her ministry is also assessing changes to a national microbiological database, which includes poultry and red meat.
The government is also looking at non-food-borne cases of the bacterium, which can come from sources such as contaminated rural water supplies and live animal contact, though its emphasis will remain on poultry.
“Public health experts, industry and the government have always agreed that reducing campylobacter in chicken is a priority and collaboration has been key in helping us achieve reductions so far,” said Goodhew.
“We acknowledge that more work needs to be done collaboratively to see continuous progress towards the goal of reducing food-borne illnesses related to Campylobacter.”