December 10, 2008
Ninety percent of Swiss chickens infected with campylobacter
Many as nine out of 10 chickens in Switzerland are infected with campylobacter bacteria, a report by the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office reveals.
Veterinary authorities were surprised at the extent of contamination in the first time the campylobacter bacterium
has been monitored since summer, according to Federal Veterinary Office spokesman Marcel Falk.
Falk said that contamination levels were more than double by 40 to 45 percent observed in spring this year.
Whole, organic chickens
are a delicacy in Switzerland often priced at more than 20 Switzerland Francs (US$16.49) per kilogram. Reported instances of sickness from the bacteria rose to 7,000 cases through the end of November, up 1,300 than last year, Falk added.
The Swiss newspaper Sonntags Zeitung reported that the Federal Veterinary Office will call a crisis meeting of food and health experts, as well as poultry producers on December 18 to address the issue in the poultry industry.
US$1 = CHR1.559 (Dec 10)