Abstract for: Improving safety in the food chain: the case of Campylobacter bacterial contamination in poultry in the Netherlands

Campylobacter is a genus of bacteria, many of which cause a foodborne infectious disease campylobacteriosis. Campylobacteriosis has been the most commonly reported zoonosis in the European Union (EU), accounting for 69% of the confirmed human zoonosis cases in 2018. Because of underreporting, it is estimated that Campylobacter infection leads to nine million zoonosis cases among Europeans each year and a cost of around 2.4 billion euros each year due to public health expenses and loss of productivity. The lack of success in controlling Campylobacter can be attributed to the complexity in transmission cycles and to the lack of understanding of underlying transmission mechanisms. Developing effective biosecurity measures at farms has been recognized as critical, but complex. To address this complex problem, we aim to employ system dynamics coupled with stakeholder engagement (i.e., farmers and scientists). First, we will engage relevant stakeholders of the Dutch chicken industry (i.e., farmers and scientists) to build a basis for a system dynamics model of transmission routes and biosecurity measures. Second, based on model simulations, we will propose biosecurity measures that will be assessed with farmers to reach consensus on their effectiveness and to increase chances of their application.