Chicken is one of the most commonly eaten meats in Germany. According to a media report, however, the enjoyment of poultry is not without its dangers: in inspections of fresh chicken meat in German retail stores, a second diarrhea was detected in every other sample, which can lead to illness, especially in people with weakened immune systems.

52 percent of the samples were contaminated

523 percent of the samples tested last year contained the diarrhea pathogen Campylobacter. Six years earlier, in 2011, it was still 32 percent. Campylobacter is found in poultry and raw milk and is less dangerous than the known norovirus. An infection is anything but pleasant with fever, head and muscle pain and abdominal cramps, nausea and diarrhea. Campylobacter disease lasts for about a week and usually progresses without discomfort and resolves on its own.

How can consumers protect themselves?

Campylobacter pathogens are relatively sensitive and can not multiply in food. If you prepare chicken, you should make sure that the meat is thoroughly cooked or roasted. If the meat is only lightly seared, not all pathogens die. In addition, the meat should not be washed off before preparation in order to avoid spread of the pathogens by splashing water. Furthermore, all kitchen utensils and work surfaces that were in contact with the meat should be thoroughly rinsed with hot water. The same applies to the hands of the cook. It is also appropriate to use separate kitchen utensils for the preparation of the meat and side dishes.

What to do if you have an infection?

If you've got it despite all the precautions, you can stay calm. Most Campylobacter diseases are smooth, sometimes they do not even cause symptoms. However, if you suffer from symptoms, then you should protect yourself physically and stay at home for the duration of the infection. Good hand hygiene is mandatory. In addition, you should drink a lot to make up for the fluid loss caused by the diarrhea. If the symptoms are too severe, a visit to the doctor is mandatory.

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