May 21, 2024

Oregon Chicken Liver Campylobacter Outbreak

Undercooked chicken liver is the source of a Campylobacter outbreak that has sickened five people in Oregon and Ohio since December 2013, according to Oregon health officials. Most of those sickened ate the chicken livers prepared as pâté.

Campylobacter in Petri DishThe case patients from Ohio ate chicken liver pâté while visiting Oregon. 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.

Chicken livers have been linked  to outbreaks in the past. In 2012, a Campylobacter outbreak linked to undercooked chicken livers sickened six people in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York. In 2011, 190 people in six  states were sickened in a Salmonella outbreak linked to undercooked chicken livers.

Chicken livers are a risky food, the Oregon Health Authority says, citing a recent study that found up to 77 percent of chicken livers tested positive for Campylobacter. Using a food thermometer to make sure chicken livers reach an internal temperature of 165˚ F is the only way to kill the bacteria. Pâté prepared at a USDA inspected facility is considered safe to eat because the livers must be cooked to a proper temperature to pass inspection.

Symptoms of a Campylobacter infection, called campylobacteriosis, include diarrhea, cramps and fever that usually develop two to five days after exposure and last a week. The diarrhea may be bloody. If the infection spreads to the bloodstream it can cause serious, life-threatening infection.



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