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Could garlic prevent food poisoning?

Posted: June 3rd, 2012 by Dermot comment-icon Comments disabled

A study published in The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy describes the findings of a group of scientists based at Washington State University; namely, that a compound found naturally in garlic is more effective at fighting food poisoning bacteria than two types of antibiotic.

Apparently, the derived compound, diallyl sulphide, was found to be one hundred times more effective than the antibiotics at tackling the Campylobacter bacteria, which is commonly found both on the surface of poultry skin and within the tissues.

Before you rush out to stock up on garlic, however, the researchers are suggesting that the compound could be used to clean food prep surfaces or as a preservative, rather than implying that eating garlic can prevent food poisoning.

The only way to make really sure that all bacteria have been eliminated from meat is to cook it thoroughly. The recent trend for pink chicken liver parfait has contributed to the rise in the number of Campylobacter infections in recent years, and recent cases have shown how cooking the liver less can have dramatic consequences for those who eat it.

Food poisoning is a serious issue, and new strategies to fight infection will always be welcome but for the moment, the advice still has to be to ignore the fashions for undercooked meat and make sure it is no longer pink before you serve it.

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