Chicken Liver - Resources for Illness Prevention
Food Safety Risk from Chicken Liver
In recent years, numerous outbreaks of illness associated with chicken liver have been reported in the United States. Most of these outbreaks were caused by the bacteria Campylobacter and Salmonella and were linked to chicken liver dishes that were:
- Pâté or a similar blended dish (e.g. mousse, spread, or butter);
- Inadequately cooked; and
- Prepared in a restaurant or other foodservice setting.
Consuming inadequately cooked chicken liver is risky because pathogens can exist both on the external surface of the liver and in its internal parts. Chicken liver dishes should be consumed only after being cooked throughout to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F (73.9°C). Additionally, chicken liver should be handled carefully to prevent cross-contamination.
Outbreaks of Illness Associated with Chicken Liver
- Outbreak review publication: Chicken Liver–Associated Outbreaks of Campylobacteriosis and Salmonellosis, United States, 2000–2016: Identifying Opportunities for Prevention
Guidance for the Food Industry
- Guidance for FSIS-regulated establishments, retail outlets, and foodservice entities: Minimizing the Risk of Campylobacter and Salmonella Illnesses Associated with Chicken Liver
- FSIS submitted an issue to the 2018 Conference for Food Protection, recommending that this guidance be added to the Food Code Annex (Council I-029).
- Infographic for Chefs, Cooks, and Caterers: Cook Chicken Liver Like It’s Chicken (It Is)
- Chicken liver is included in FSIS’s Food Safety Research Priorities.
- USDA Agricultural Research Service publications:
- Mild Heat and Freezing to Lessen Bacterial Numbers on Chicken Liver (March 2020)
- Campylobacter Subtypes Detected in Broiler Ceca and Livers Collected at Slaughter (November 2019)
- Evaluation of Hydrostatic High Pressure and Cold Storage Parameters for the Reduction of Campylobacter jejuni in Chicken Livers (May 2019)
- Thermal Inactivation of Salmonella in Pâté Made from Chicken Liver (May 2019)
- Prevalence, Levels, and Viability of Salmonella in and on Raw Chicken Livers (Apr 2019)
- The evaluation of gamma irradiation and cold storage for the reduction of Campylobacter jejuni in chicken livers (Feb 2019)
- Multilocus Sequence Subtypes of Campylobacter Detected on the Surface and from Internal Tissues of Retail Chicken Livers (Sep 2018)