Despite a sizeable evidence base for the risk of campylobacteriosis associated with eating chicken liver pâté, associated outbreaks continue to occur. In January 2017, six cases of campylobacteriosis reported having eaten a Christmas set-menu meal at the same hotel in North Yorkshire, England on the same day. A retrospective cohort study was undertaken to test the null hypothesis that consumption of individual food items was not associated with an increased risk of illness.
There were 19 cases of campylobacteriosis linked to the outbreak; seven confirmed and 12 probable cases. Chicken liver pâté was the food item most strongly associated with illness (P < 0.001) with a corresponding high crude relative risk (12.95). This relationship was supported by multivariable analysis, sensitivity analyses and a clear dose–response relationship. Three cases reported an incubation period of <24 h, consistent with other outbreaks of campylobacteriosis associated with consumption of poultry liver. The findings were suggestive of a single point source exposure with a strong association between the consumption of chicken liver pâté and campylobacteriosis.
This outbreak highlights that despite evidence that simple cooking techniques can ensure that all campylobacter are killed during cooking, outbreaks continue to occur. Public and professional awareness needs to be raised through a strategic communication plan to reduce the risk of further outbreaks of campylobacteriosis linked to incorrectly cooked chicken liver dishes.
An outbreak of campylobacteriosis at a hotel in England: the ongoing risk due to consumption of chicken liver dishes
Epidemiology and Infection vol. 148 no. 32