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Campylobacter food poisoning is caused by the bacterium Campylobacter jejuni (commonest) and Campylobacter coli. To cause food poisoning only a few bacteria of Campylobacter need to be present to lead to illness. 

Chicken, meat, shellfish, cattle, sheep, birds could be chronic carriers. Household pets, including puppies and kittens, are another possible source of infection.

Incubation Period
1-10 days.

Signs and Symptoms


  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea

Symptoms can range between 1-11 days after infection, but most commonly is between 2-5 days and usually last for approximately one week.

Stool culture and sensitivity.

  • Antibiotics (prescribed by medical doctor) e.g. erythromycin.
  • Rehydration treatment.
  • May require hospitalisation.

Control and Prevention
  • Ensure scrupulous hand washing and hygiene, especially in food handlers.
  • Thoroughly wash utensils used to prepare raw meats and poultry before using them to prepare non-cooked food such as salads.
  • Bathing or taking part in water sports in contaminated waters can lead to infection.
  • Pasteurise milk and chlorinate water.
  • Thoroughly cook all meat especially poultry.
  • Minimise contact with poultry and their faeces.