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Keywords:

  • Campylobacter coli;
  • Campylobacter jejuni;
  • chicken livers;
  • inactivation

Abstract

Aim:  To enumerate Campylobacter spp. on the external surface and internal portions of chicken livers, and to assess the cooking required to inactivate naturally present cells.

Methods and Results:  Of 30 livers tested all yielded Campylobacter spp. on their surfaces and 90% were found to contain the organism in internal tissue. Four (13%) livers contained >104 MPN campylobacters, and an additional seven (23%) contained >103 MPN campylobacters per liver. The internal temperature of pan-fried livers under the conditions used reached a maximum of 70–80 °C, and maintaining this temperature for 2–3 min was necessary to inactivate naturally occurring Campylobacter spp. All isolates identified were either C. jejuni or C. coli.

Conclusions:  Chicken livers represent a potential source of human campylobacteriosis as they contained >104 MPN per liver in 13% of the samples tested. Pan-frying can produce an acceptable product that is safe to eat.

Significance and Impact of this study:  The data provided can be used in exposure assessments of Campylobacter in poultry products in terms of both quantitative data and assessing pan-frying and its ability to destroy campylobacters.