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Increased enforcement of E.coli guidance

 

It has come to our attention that enforcement activity relating to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) guidance on the control of E.coli cross-contamination has increased.

Please ensure that you are following the guidance and are controlling the risks adequately, particularly in terms of having separate, designated vacuum-packing machines and vacuum-packing bags for non-ready-to-eat and ready-to-eat foods.

In addition to this, we have been made aware that the City of Westminster Council believe that a number of food poisonings have been associated with the  under cooking of calves liver. The presence of Campylobacter in chicken livers is well documented and the FSA has issued clear guidance on cooking times and temperatures, as below:

  • 65°C for 10 minutes
  • 70°C for 2 minutes
  • 75°C for 30 seconds
  • 80°C for 6 seconds

A review of research studies suggest that as much as 69% of cattle livers are contaminated with Campylobacter but it has not been established whether it is present only on the outside or whether it is in the centre of the liver. The research was also based on cattle not calves liver.

Guidance has been issued by the European Food Safety Agency and the NHS stating that all cattle liver should be fully cooked. However, the FSA have not issued any direction to caterers.

Until the time that the FSA issue clear guidance to caterers regarding the requirement to fully cook offal, it is recommended that you consider the potential  risks associated with serving undercooked calves liver and review your cooking processes accordingly to ensure  the core temperature reaches  70⁰C for 2 minutes or equivalent.

Please contact Food Alert if you require further support.