Last Updated on January 26, 2024
What is Campylobacter?
Campylobacter is the most common bacterial cause of diarrheal disease in the United States. Food poisoning from this bacterium affects 1.5 million U.S. residents every year. More cases of campylobacteriosis take place in summer than in winter.
Preventing the Spread of Campylobacter
Campylobacter can spread by the following means :
- Eating undercooked meat from chickens, turkeys, cows, and other animals that became contaminated with Campylobacter before being slaughtered (poultry is one of the top causes of Campylobacter illness)
- Cross-contamination from surfaces that were not properly sanitized after contact with raw poultry or meat
- Drinking raw (unpasteurized) milk that is contaminated
- Eating fruits or vegetables contaminated through contact with soil or water containing animal feces
- Drinking untreated water (household wells are vulnerable to contamination )
- Eating shellfish originating from contaminated water
- Touching infected animals, their feces, or their environment
- Taking part in recreational water activities where fecal matter may be ingested
Regular hand hygiene and surface disinfection are important preventative measures. Since this bacterium can be found in contaminated water, proper water purification is a vital component in preventing the spread of Campylobacter. Household wells can be a source of Campylobacter infection and should be tested regularly and properly maintained . Pools and other recreational water sources should be properly disinfected. Keep surfaces used for raw poultry, meat, and seafood away from fruits and vegetables. Scrub produce thoroughly and cook food thoroughly , especially poultry or food containing poultry (165° is its recommended internal temperature).
Get Additional Protection with Germicidal UV Disinfection
In addition to the above preventative measures, Germicidal Ultraviolet (UV-C) surface disinfection (in the dosage listed below) can inactivate Campylobacter in many applications. Our products use STER-L-RAY® Germicidal UV-C Lamps producing ultraviolet wavelengths at 254 nanometers, the region of germicidal effectiveness most destructive to harmful microorganisms.
Germicidal Ultraviolet (UV-C) Water Purification can inactivate Campylobacter in drinking water or water used for food preparation. View our application page on Well Water Contamination for more information on how UV purification can help protect your well water against Campylobacter and other harmful microorganisms. Germicidal UV Disinfection can also be used to protect pools and other recreational water sources from various pathogens . Restaurants, retailers, and meat processing facilities will benefit by adding UV-C surface disinfection to their regular sanitizing procedures. View our application-specific page on UV-C in Meat Processing.
Campylobacter: Classification & UV-C Dose for Inactivation
Where is it found?
What can it infect?
How Does it Spread?
People at High Risk for Contracting an Infection
While anyone can contract a Campylobacter infection, certain groups of people are more likely to develop disease or have serious complications. Travelers to developing countries may consume food, drink water, or swim in recreational water containing Campylobacter. People with weakened immune systems — such as those with a blood disorder, with AIDS, or receiving chemotherapy — Campylobacter could spread to the bloodstream and cause a life-threatening infection. Infants, young children, adults aged 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop Campylobacter illness from raw milk. According to the World Health Organization , complications such as hepatitis, pancreatitis, and miscarriage have been reported with various degrees of frequency. Post-infection complications may include reactive arthritis and neurological disorders such as Guillain-Barré syndrome (which can cause muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis).
Most people infected with Campylobacter experience the following symptoms :
- Diarrhea (often bloody)
- Stomach cramps
Nausea and vomiting may accompany the diarrhea. These symptoms usually start 2 to 5 days after the person ingests Campylobacter and last about one week.
Sources on Campylobacter
The above information can be found on the following pages. Please read complete articles to learn more.
- CDC: Campylobacter (Campylobacteriosis)
- CDC: Raw Milk Questions and Answers
- CDC: Foods That Can Cause Food Poisoning
* Nominal Ultraviolet dosage necessary to inactivate better than 99% of microorganisms. See sources below.
- Sensitivity of Bacteria, Protozoa, Viruses, and Other Microorganisms to Ultraviolet Radiation. Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Volume 126, Article No. 126021. August 20, 2021.
Learn More & Shop Our Products to Inactivate Campylobacter
Made in the USA from U.S. and imported parts, Water Purification and Air & Surface Disinfection models from Atlantic Ultraviolet Corporation® are constructed of the highest quality materials and use germicidal UV-C lamps to disinfect water, inactivating microorganisms like Campylobacter.
Learn Here! Ultraviolet.com
- Blog Posts: UV Water Disinfection
- Blog Posts: Other Microorganisms Inactivated by UV-C
- UV-C Dosage Data for Many Microorganisms
- View Well Water Application Page
- View Meat Processing Application Page
- All Applications for UV Disinfection
Shop Here! AtlanticUltraviolet.com
- Shop UV Water Disinfection
- Compare All Water Disinfection Models
- Shop STER-L-RAY® Germicidal UV Lamps
Contact Our UV Application Specialists
- Call 1-631-273-0500, Monday – Friday 7am to 6pm EST
- Email Sales@AtlanticUV.com
- Fill out our contact form