Campylobacteriosis - Topic Overview
In more severe cases, your doctor may
In rare cases, long-term problems can
result from campylobacteriosis. Some people may have
arthritis following campylobacteriosis. Others may
develop a rare disease called
Guillain-Barré syndrome. This occurs when your immune
system attacks your nerves, which can lead to
paralysis that lasts several weeks and usually
requires that you go to a hospital.
How can you prevent campylobacteriosis?
prevent campylobacteriosis by practicing safe food handling (adapted from the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
- Shop safely. Bag raw meat, poultry, and fish
separately from other food items. Young children can get sick from touching
packaged poultry, so don't allow them to touch or play with packages of poultry
in your grocery cart. Drive home immediately after finishing your shopping so
that you can store foods properly.
- Prepare foods safely. Wash your
hands before and after handling food. Also wash them after using the bathroom
or changing diapers. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables by rinsing them well with
running water. If possible, use two cutting boards-one for fresh produce and
the other for raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Otherwise, be sure to wash the
cutting board with hot, soapy water between each use. You can also wash your
knives and cutting boards in the dishwasher to disinfect them.
- Store foods safely. Cook, refrigerate, or freeze meat, poultry,
eggs, fish, and ready-to-eat foods within 2 hours. Make sure your refrigerator
is set at 40°F (4°C) or colder.
- Cook foods safely. Use a clean meat thermometer to determine
whether foods are cooked to a safe temperature. Reheat leftovers to at least
165°F (74°C). Do not eat
undercooked hamburger. And be aware of the risk of food poisoning from raw fish
(including sushi), clams, and oysters.
- Serve foods safely. Keep
cooked hot foods hot [140°F (60°C) or above] and cold foods cold [40°F (4°C) or below].
- Follow labels on food packaging.
Food packaging labels provide information about when to use the food and how to
store it. Reading food labels and following safety instructions will reduce
your chances of becoming ill with food poisoning.
- When in doubt,
throw it out. If you are not sure whether a food is safe, don't eat it.
Reheating food that is contaminated will not make it safe. Don't taste
suspicious food. It may smell and look fine but still may not be safe to
It is important to pay particular attention to food
preparation and storage during warm months when food is often served outside.
Bacteria grow faster in warmer weather, so food can spoil more quickly and
possibly cause illness. Do not leave food outdoors for more than 1 hour if the
temperature is above 90°F (32°C), and never leave it outdoors for more than 2 hours.