- Food Safety Commission, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan
- Food Safety (ISSN:21878404)
- vol.7, no.3, pp.61-73, 2019 (Released:2019-09-27)
According to the annual food poisoning statistics compiled by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) in Japan, Campylobacter replaced Salmonella and Vibrio parahaemolyticus as the leading bacterium responsible for food poisoning in 2003. Although in 2006 the number of cases of Campylobacter food poisoning was 3,439 on the basis of the MHLW statistics, it was estimated to be 1,545,363 on the basis of active surveillance, suggesting that passive surveillance yields an incidence about 450 times lower than that revealed by active surveillance. Epidemiological investigations of Campylobacter food poisoning in Japan have shown that chicken meat and its products are the most important sources of infection, as is the case in other industrialized nations. Over the last two decades, the consumption of fresh raw chicken meat and liver has been increasing in Japan. Although the MHLW recommends that chicken meat should only be eaten after thorough cooking, it is likely to account for much of the increased incidence of human campylobacteriosis. In response to this situation, the Expert Committee on Microorganisms/Viruses, Food Safety Commission of Japan, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan (FSCJ) has revised the previous risk profile of C. jejuni/coli in chicken meat by adding new findings for 2018. Moreover, the MHLW revised the Poultry Slaughtering Business Control and Poultry Meat Inspection Act in 2014 aiming at stepwise introduction of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system into poultry processing plants. Subsequently, the Japanese government amended the Food Sanitation Act in 2018, requiring all food business operators to implement hygiene control based on HACCP principles as a general rule. This paper reviews the current status of Campylobacter food poisoning due to consumption of chicken meat in Japan and extracts the issues underlying each step of the food supply chain in order to examine the implementation of effective measures for risk management.