Human campylobacteriosis and bird‐pecked milk

John E. Moore (Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory, Department of Bacteriology, Belfast City Hospital, Belfast, UK)
Paul J. Rooney (School of Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Molecular Biosciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Publication date: 16 February 2010



The purpose of this paper is to examine the correlation between rates of food‐poisoning in England and Wales due to the bacterium, Campylobacter, and the frequency of doorstep delivery of milk. Thermophilic campylobacters, particularly C. jejuni continue to be the most common cause of acute bacterial enteritis in the Western world.


Data relating to the frequency of milk doorstep delivery in the UK were compared to data on laboratory reports of Campylobacter isolated from faecal material in England and Wales and expressed graphically.


There does not appear to be any visible correlation between a falling rate of doorstep delivery of milk and Campylobacter food‐poisoning.


These data may indicate that although bird‐pecked milk is a recognized epidemiological risk factor for the acquisition of campylobacteriosis, the frequency and significance of this means acquiring the infection may not be as common as has been previously suggested.



Moore, J. and Rooney, P. (2010), "Human campylobacteriosis and bird‐pecked milk", British Food Journal, Vol. 112 No. 2, pp. 151-154.

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