26 sick; NZ food poisonings spur liver preparation alert

Following a spate of liver-pate-linked campylobacter illnesses in the UK, the colonies are now reaching out to locals as New Zealand grapples with more than two dozen cases of food poisoning in Wellington.

Campylobacter was found in undercooked poultry and lamb’s liver, Margot McLean of Regional Public Health said.

Twenty-six cases of campylobacter, linked to eating liver, had been reported to public health officials in the past year. That figure was likely to be conservative, as they received detailed information on less than a third of campylobacter cases, Dr McLean said.

Microbiological wannabe Jacob Brown, chef at Miramar’s The Larder, said he hoped the public health warning would not put people off eating liver.

Overcooking it was “criminal”, as it became tough and grainy, and that any liver that was looked after correctly once it was removed from the animal should be fine.

The story goes on to say, “Cook liver in small batches for at least five minutes until juices are clear.”

Use a tip-sensitive digital thermometer, and I’d say 165F to eliminate Campylobacter. Color is a lousy indicator.