HEALTH experts are warning of a high risk of food poisoning from undercooked chicken or duck liver pate.
New figures show that more than 90% of outbreaks of campylobacter – the most common form of bacterial food poisoning – at catering venues in 2011 were linked to people eating the pate.
Symptoms of the illness include diarrhoea, stomach pains, cramps, fever and generally feeling unwell.
Vomiting is uncommon and 80% to 90% recover in a week. But some people do suffer longer-term effects.
Health Protection Agency investigations found livers used to make the parfait or pate were undercooked, meaning the liver stayed pink in the centre.
Campylobacter can be found spread throughout the liver unlike with other bits of meat, where it can stay on the surface. This means liver must be cooked enough to ensure the bug is killed.
Some 14 outbreaks were reported in catering venues this year, 13 of which were linked to chicken or duck liver pate. Chicken was the worst culprit, accounting for 11 of the 13 cases. Seven of these cases were linked to wedding receptions and the other six were linked to hotels, clubs and restaurants.
The Food Standards Agency is now reminding caterers to cook poultry livers thoroughly and avoid contamination with other foods.