Acting on Campylobacter Together
Acting on Campylobacter Together is a campaign to bring together the whole food chain to reduce levels of campylobacter in chicken and to reduce the burden of foodborne illness in the UK. Join us.
A quarter of a million people
Do you remember the London 2012 opening ceremony and the Olympic stadium filled to bursting point with spectators? Now, try to envisage that huge crowd multiplied by three. You can do the same with Murrayfield in Edinburgh and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. With Windsor Park in Belfast, try multiplying the crowd nine times over.
That’s about a quarter of a million people. That’s how many people in the UK could be struck down by campylobacter this year.
What is campylobacter?
Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. You can’t see it, smell it or even taste it on food, but if it affects you, you won’t forget it. At its worst, it can kill you. But if we work together we can eliminate the risks.
Campylobacter poisoning usually develops a few days after consuming contaminated food and leads to symptoms that include abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea and, sometimes, vomiting, It can last for between 2 and 10 days and can be particularly severe in small children and the elderly. In some cases, it can affect you forever – sparking off irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), reactive arthritis and in rare cases, Guillain-Barré syndrome – a serious and sometimes permanent condition of the nervous system.
There were more than 72,000 confirmed lab reports of people suffering from campylobacter poisoning last year. Most of them survived, but not all.
We are continuing to analyse the full impact that campylobacter has, but previous estimates have indicated that campylobacter causes more than 100 deaths a year, and costs the UK economy about £900 million. It’s an unacceptably high public health burden, and the main responsibility for addressing this rests with the food industry.