Campylobacter left in the cold

By 15. July 2013Blog, Health, Risk Management

Anyone who has had a run in with Campylobacter can tell you it’s not a pleasant experience, and I am an anyone.

Although incidences of Campylobacter are decreasing in the UK, the number of cases caused by poultry derived foods such as chicken liver pâté are increasing. This is due to insufficient cooking to kill the Campylobacter. The UK’s Food Standards Agency took note of this and commissioned a research project looking into whether freezing chicken livers before preparation could reduce this risk.

It was found that freezing chicken livers and holding them at -25°C for 24 hours reduced the levels of contamination from approx. 10,000 viable bacteria cells per gram to less than 100. When the livers were allowed to thaw overnight and the freezing at -25°C repeated the level of Campylobacter cells was reduced to the tens.

Great news for making the food safer but what about the taste test?

The results have been published in the journal Letters in Applied Microbiology.