December 2, 2023

Food Poisoning Outbreaks Linked To Chicken Liver

A Campylobacter outbreak linked to undercooked chicken liver has sickened at least five people in Oregon and Ohio, health officials say. Although it may seem unusual, this isn’t the first time a food poisoning outbreak has been linked to chicken liver.

Campylobacter in a petri dishA 2012 Campylobacter outbreak linked to undercooked chicken livers sickened six people in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York. Some of those sickened ate the liver at restaurants, others purchased it from a grocery store and prepared it at home. The six case patients ranged in age from 19 to 87 years old. The median age was 53.5 years. Three of them were male, three were female. Two of  the patients were hospitalized.

In 2011, Salmonella in undercooked chicken livers sickened 190 people in six states. The chicken livers were sold at grocery stores under the Meal Mart brand name. The label read “kosher broiled chicken livers” but they were not ready to eat. The case patients ranged in age from less than 1 year old to 97 years old. The median age was 14. Forty-nine percent of the case patients were female. Thirty people were hospitalized.

In 1993,  119 people in New York became ill after eating chicken liver pâté contaminated with Salmonella. Some of the people in the current outbreak including those from Ohio who ate the tainted pâté while visiting Oregon.

Symptoms of a Campylobacter infection, called campylobacteriosis, include cramps, fever ad diarrhea that can be bloody. Symptoms usually develop two to five days after exposure and last a week. Infections that spread to the bloodstream can be serious or life-threatening.

This outbreak began in December 2013. The Oregon Health Authority is working with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the outbreak investigation.



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