As many as nine out of ten chickens in Switzerland are infected with campylobacter bacteria, which when transmitted to humans can cause cramping and diarrhoea.
According to a report in the Sunday newspaper, SonntagsZeitung, the Federal Veterinary Office has called a crisis meeting of food and health experts, as well as poultry producers, for December 18.
A spokesman told the SonntagsZeitung that the veterinary office was surprised by the results of the unpublished study, expecting only half as many chickens to have been infected with the bacteria.
The spokesman, Marcel Falk, said measures to combat the disease would be discussed at the meeting.
Most cases of campylobacteriosis are associated with eating raw or undercooked poultry meat or from cross-contamination of other foods by these items.
Most people who become ill with campylobacteriosis get diarrhoea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever within two to five days after exposure to the organism. The illness typically lasts one week.
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