In general, food-borne infectious diseases caused by Campylobacter tend to occur during the warmer months of the year, with one exception: shortly after Christmas and New Year's Eve, Campylobacter-related illnesses are more common.
As international studies have shown, these increased illnesses could be due to popular holiday foods: Fondue and Raclette - especially when poultry meat is used. Campylobacter is found primarily in raw poultry meat; the pathogens can be transferred via fingers, cutlery, dishes, etc. to meat, sauces or salads that have already been fried. Even very small amounts of the pathogen (approx. 500 germs) can cause an infection in humans. For comparison: more than 10,000 germs can be found on one gram of poultry skin.
Especially with fondue and raclette, you should therefore pay attention to kitchen hygiene:
- Do not wash poultry meat: Campylobacter can be transferred to kitchen utensils or other food through water splashes
- Use your own cutting boards and knives for raw poultry meat, wash thoroughly after use.
- Even if you are already hungry: do not pile raw and roasted meat on the same plate; always use separate plates.
- The same applies to cutlery: do not use the same fork for salad and raw meat.