October 15, 2021

Campylobacter Outbreak Linked to Undercooked Liver Pâté

Undercooked chicken liver in restaurant pâté was the source of a January 2014 Campylobacter outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  This is the second time a multistate outbreak of campylobacteriosis has been linked to undercooked chicken livers.

Campylobacter in a petri dishTwo Oregon restaurants were involved in the outbreak that sickened five people. Tests on chicken livers taken from the restaurants were positive for the same strain of Campylobacter found in a culture from one of the patients. Three of the patients, ages  31–76,  were women. Two of the patients were from Ohio and visited an Oregon restaurant, two patients who dined at a second restaurant were from Oregon. A fifth case was discovered in Washington state. That patient had been advised by a naturopathic physician to eat frozen pill-sized pieces of uncooked liver.

Both restaurants and the Washington patient received the livers from the same the same establishment in Washington state. The restaurants and the food production facility were both unnamed by the CDC. After the outbreak was discovered both restaurants voluntarily stopped serving liver and the production plant stopped selling them.

Chicken livers and pâté should be considered risky foods, says the CDC. Facilities that produce chicken livers are not required to make sure they are free of bacteria.  In a recent study, Campylobacter was found in 77 percent of chicken livers cultured. The only way to destroy the pathogen is to cooked the chicken livers to an internal temperature of 165°F, but people often undercook it to preserve the texture of the pâté.

 

 

 

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