Des Moines, Iowa – State health officials report a rise in the number of foodborne illnesses involving a bacteria called campylobacter. Cases topped one-thousand statewide for the first time in 2016 with more than 600 cases reported in the first half of this year.
Barb Fuller, a human sciences specialist with the Iowa State University Extension, says it’s usually associated with chicken.
The campylobacter bacteria is present in the intestines, liver and giblets of poultry and can be transferred to other parts of the animal when it’s slaughtered.
Fuller says the bacteria is common, but it can be eliminated with proper cooking.
Symptoms of the illness can be severe in people with weakened immune systems, but she says most people only develop a mild reaction to the infection.
Even though you may recover in about a week, you can still be contagious for several weeks, so Fuller says you need to be careful being around other people — especially those who may be at a higher risk for a foodborne illness.
Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control estimates there are 1.3 million cases of campylobacter infection every year.