This paper describes a new approach by which changes over time in the relative risk of human campylobacteriosis from broiler meat are evaluated through quantitative microbiological risk assessment modelling. Danish surveillance data collected at retail from 2001 to 2010 on numbers of thermotolerant Campylobacter spp. on Danish produced and imported chilled and frozen broiler meat were the basis for the investigation. The aim was to explore if the risk from the different meat categories had changed over time as a consequence of implemented intervention strategies. The results showed a slight decrease from 2005 to 2008 in the human risk from Danish produced broiler meat, and a decrease from 2005 to 2010 in the risk from imported chilled meat. This risk reduction coincides with control measures implemented to reduce Campylobacter in Danish and imported chilled broiler meat. The human risk of campylobacteriosis from Danish frozen meat increased but remained lower compared to chilled meat. In total, the relative risk from broiler meat available for sale in Denmark increased from 2001 to 2005 after which the risk decreased to a level similar to the period 2001-2002. The use of QMRA in the evaluation of intervention strategies based on monitoring data provided an added value, compared to the traditional approach of only using changes in prevalence. The estimated human health risk is a function of prevalence and the distribution of concentrations, and therefore takes best usage of the available data, while providing the most relevant outcome for food safety risk managers.
International Journal of Food Microbiology, 2013, Vol 162, Issue 2, p. 129-134