Less than a third of people in Germany have heard of Campylobacter, according to a survey by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).

Campylobacter, the most common bacterial pathogen of diarrheal diseases, was better known than last year, but still only 28 percent of people had heard of it.

From 2012 to 2016, Germany, along with the Czech Republic and United Kingdom, were the European countries that reported the most cases per year. The notification rate in Germany increased 15 percent from 2012 to 2016.

In 2016, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain and the U.K. accounted for almost 70 percent of all confirmed cases in Europe. Germany had 73,663 confirmed cases in 2016 compared to 69,829 the year before.

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The BfR Consumer Monitor gives an insight every six months into how Germans perceive health risks. More than 1,000 people aged 14 and over living in private houses were interviewed in February by telephone on behalf of the BfR.

A huge 96 percent of respondents knew about Salmonella. This pathogen, genetically modified foods and microplastics in food topped the awareness scale of health and consumer topics in Germany.

Germany reported 12,858 confirmed salmonellosis cases in 2016 compared to 13,667 the year before and 16,000 in 2014. From 2012 to 2016, a decreasing trend was seen in the country.

Just more than half said they trusted state authorities to protect consumer health. Overall people were not as concerned as they were in the last survey in summer 2018.

As in the previous year, antimicrobial resistance and microplastics are still the topics most respondents are worried about. However, compared to the previous survey, the population is less concerned about antimicrobial resistance, with 57 percent reporting they were worried about it. Almost half said they were not worried about food hygiene at home.

Seventy percent said they had heard of mycotoxins in food while just more than half knew about fipronil in eggs, egg products and chicken meat. Awareness of both of these topics decreased from the previous time.

More than three-fourths of Germans regarded food as safe but one-third said safety was decreasing. Four in 10 said the quality of food in the country was tending to stay the same while 42 percent said it was decreasing.

“Interest in consumer health topics is increasing steadily. Despite all this, people underestimate the risk posed by pathogens in the kitchen,” said Professor Dr. Andreas Hensel, BfR president.

The BfR is within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany and advises the Federal Government on questions of food, chemical and product safety.

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