ADDING garlic to chicken pate could reduce the chances of getting food poisoning, research indicates.
Scientists have found a compound in garlic is 100 times more effective at fighting a common type of bacteria that causes food poisoning, called Campylobacter, than two types of antibiotic.
Campylobacter is commonly found both on the surface of poultry and inside the flesh. Cases of related food poisoning have been rising in recent years, due partly to an increasing fondness for serving 'pink' chicken liver pâté.
Now researchers at Washington State University in the US have found that a compound derived from garlic, called diallyl sulphide, is particularly effective at penetrating the slimy film that protects colonies of Campylobacter.
They found that, in a laboratory setting, it was 100 times more effective than the antibiotics erythromycin and ciprofloxacin, and would often work in "a fraction of the time".
Barbara Rasco, associate professor of food science, said: "Diallyl sulphide could make many foods safer to eat. It can be used to clean food preparation surfaces and as a preservative in packaged foods like potato and pasta salads, coleslaw and deli meats."
The study is published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. However, the authors said that white eating garlic was generally a healthy thing to do, they could not be sure it would help prevent Campylobacter-related food poisoning.