Do I have (duck) egg on my face; listeria in fried duck thingies in France

I make mistakes when I blog, trying to combine speed with accuracy. Usually they are corrected without much fuss; but when it involves language, and especially French, it gets dramatic.

My friend in France sends me stories about food-related recalls and outbreaks on a daily basis, usually from a French media source. Amy the French professor toiling away downstairs has her own work to do so I try not to bug her.

Lately I’ve been using goggle translate – oh, that’s google, I have a habit of writing goggle –to get the jist of the story and then blog it without bugging the French prof.

So when google translate suggested duck cracklings, I went with eggs, knowing I had a great picture of farm-fresh duck eggs from my colleague Kate. Turns out it was fritons or grattons or grillon, which was translated as cracklings, that showed up positive for listeria at Intermarche Figeac. They are, according to my French friend, small pieces of duck, fried with the fat of the duck (right, exactly as shown).

The French prof says she will use this as a translation anecdote for her students next semester and why humans are better than goggle – google.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time