In the United Kingdom, outbreaks of Campylobacter infection are increasingly attributed to undercooked chicken livers, yet many recipes, including those of top chefs, advocate short cooking times and serving livers pink.
During 2015, we studied preferences of chefs and the public in the United Kingdom and investigated the link between liver rareness and survival of Campylobacter. We used photographs to assess chefs’ ability to identify chicken livers meeting safe cooking guidelines.
To investigate the microbiological safety of livers chefs they preferred to serve, we modeled Campylobacter survival in infected chicken livers cooked to various temperatures. Most chefs correctly identified safely cooked livers but overestimated the public’s preference for rareness and thus preferred to serve them more rare.
We estimated that 19%–52% of livers served commercially in the United Kingdom fail to reach 70°C and that predicted Campylobacter survival rates are 48%–98%. These findings indicate that cooking trends are linked to increasing Campylobacter infections.
Restaurant cooking trends and increased risk for Camplyobacter infection
Emerging Infectious Disease Journal, Volume 22, Number 7, July 2016, DOI: 10.3201/eid2207.151775
A.K. Jones, D. Rigby, M. Burton, C. Millman, N.J. Williams, T.R. Jones, P. Wigley, S.J. O’Brien, P. Cross