Digestion disaster warning as barbecue season begins
As the warm weather tempts people to dust off their barbecues and head for the parks for the Easter break, medics are warning that half-cooked hamburgers and barely-warmed-through bratwursts can cause digestion disaster.
Stomach problems associated with badly-barbecued food soar during the summer months, according to figures released by the Techniker Krankenkasse health insurer on Tuesday.
It warned that cases of diarrhoea caused by the campylobacter bacteria generate stomach ache and fever as well as diarrhoea lasting for up to a week.
The number of cases registered with the public health body the Robert Koch Institute has risen by nearly 50 percent over the last ten years, to reach around 65,700 last year. Of these, around 45 percent occurred between May and August.
“Care should be taken particularly with barbecuing and preparation of poultry,” said Britta Elender from the Techniker Krankenkasse.
“The majority of cases were caused by infected poultry meat which was not cooked through.”
Dishes such as salads and desserts, which are not heated up, should be prepared separately from raw poultry, while cooked meat should not be put on a plate where raw meat had previously been.
Campylobacter bacteria are transmitted from animals to humans, and infect poultry most frequently, although they do not develop symptoms.
Children, older people, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to food poisoning.