Warning over offal cooking

Last updated 08:50 06/10/2012

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Health officials are warning liver lovers to cook their offal properly, after more than two dozen cases of food poisoning in Wellington.

They are also working with restaurants and cafes, where use of organs and other cheap meat cuts have had a resurgence, to ensure would-be chefs are cooking their grandmother's lamb's fry recipes to today's food safety standards.

Campylobacter, a bacterium which causes stomach upsets, was found in undercooked poultry and lamb's liver, Margot McLean, of Wellington agency Regional Public Health, said. Symptoms included diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fever, headache, and vomiting.

Like chicken meat, lamb liver needed to be cooked long enough to kill any bacteria.

Jacob Brown, chef at Miramar's The Larder, said he hoped the public health warning would not put people off eating liver. Overcooking it was "criminal", as it became tough and grainy, he said.

Any liver looked after correctly once it was removed from the animal should be fine. Fairfax NZ

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