The European Food Safety Authority has called for improvements in "hygienic food handling practices in the home and in the food services" to prevent contamination with the pathogen campylobacter.

"Poultry meat products appear to be a major source of campylobacteriosis, through cross-contamination to ready-to-eat  foods and through direct hand-to-mouth transfer during food preparation, and to a lesser extent from the consumption of undercooked poultry meat," a formal study has concluded.

It said ensuring good agricultural practice and good hygiene practice throughout the food chain and "avoiding the use of untreated faecally contaminated water for irrigation and washing is essential".