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Frequently asked questions about infection with Brucella from food

BfR FAQ, 12 June 2014

Worldwide, brucellosis is among the most common bacterial diseases that can be transferred from animals to humans. The most important transmission path is the consumption of raw milk or cheese made from raw milk or, less frequently, the consumption of raw meat.

In central and northern Europe, brucellosis has been successfully controlled in production animals and is now rarely found. In consequence, hardly any humans in these countries contract this type of infection anymore. In Germany, cattle, sheep and goat populations have officially been deemed to be free of brucellosis since the year 2000; only in pig populations are outbreaks sporadically reported.

However, humans are at risk of contracting an infection through the consumption of animal-derived foods which have been produced in parts of the Mediterranean area, the Arabian Peninsula, in the Middle East, Africa as well as in Central and South America. To protect themselves from brucella infection, consumers should refrain from consuming raw milk, dairy products and meat when travelling to these regions. This also applies to foods such as goat or sheep cheese which are exported from endemic areas.

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12.06.2014
BfR FAQ
Frequently asked questions about infection with Brucella from food 31.7 KB
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