Campylobacter in broiler flocks

The Norwegian Veterinary institute monitor the situation of Campylobacter in broiler flocks on assignment from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

Campylobacteriosis is currently the most commonly reported bacterial infectious disease in the Norwegian human population. In almost half of the cases, the infection is acquired in Norway. Consumption of poultry meat purchased raw has been identified as a significant risk factor together with the drinking of undisinfected water, eating at barbecues, occupational exposure to animals, and eating undercooked pork (Kapperud et al. 2003, Am J Epidemiol, 158:234-242).

The files called Handlingsplan is the action plan of the surveillance program, and is only available in Norwegian. 


Surveillance in 2019 showed that a total of 103 flocks (5.1%) tested positive for Campylobacter spp. when all broiler flocks slaughtered before 51 days of age during the period May – October were tested. In total 2,018 flocks from 500 farms were sampled. There are regional differences in the proportions of positive farms. Of the positive flocks, 30.1% originated from 14 (2.8%) of the farms. The carcasses from the positive flocks were either heat treated or frozen for a minimum of three weeks before being marketed. This year’s result is somewhat more favourable than the results from 2016 - 2018 with 7.7%, 7.1% and 6.3% positive flocks, respectively. The prevalence is still very low, compared to most other European countries.

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