Campylobacter is the bacterium that is most commonly recorded as the cause of bacterial food borne illness among people in industrialised countries. It infects more people than Salmonella and Shigella put together. Campylobacter may be present in the intestinal canal of healthy birds and warm blooded animals and is primarily transferred to humans through food (especially poultry) and polluted drinking water. Infection from contact with farm animals can also occur. Campylobacter bacteria do not normally reproduce in food, but they can survive in it, and the environment around it, for a long time. Campylobacter's survival mechanisms are still little known and a thorough understanding is necessary in order to be able to prevent transmitting this bacterium in the food chain. Nofima Mat is carrying out research into the use of various feed additives and feed structure so as to change the total flora and limit Campylobacter in the chicken intestine.
E. coli is a large group of bacteria which occur naturally in the intestinal flora of animals and people. The great majority of these do not cause illness among people as long as they remain in the intestine, but in a few special cases they can develop the ability to cause illness. This occurs when some of the bacteria start to develop poisonous substances - toxins. Nofima Mat has taken part in projects that have studied the pollution of carcasses with E. coli and identified indicator bacteria for the rapid disclosure of faecal pollution of carcasses.
Nofima Mat also has extensive knowledge regarding the safe organic production of vegetables.