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Using 'MasterChef gadget' to cook meat 'sous-vide' is a recipe for food poisoning by Pat Hagan Sept. 23, 2017

•Experts say 'sous-vide' cooking method could raise the risk of food poisoning 
•It involved vacuum-packing food in a water bath and slowly poaching for hours
•But analysis by Public Health England revealed 'unsatisfactory' levels of bacteria 
It is the fashionable cooking technique favoured by many MasterChef contestants.

But now Government scientists have found the ‘sous-vide’ method of simmering vacuum-packed foods in a water bath could increase the risk of food poisoning.

Tests showed that water temperatures in sous-vide cooking were too low to kill potentially deadly bugs such as salmonella, E.coli and campylobacter.

Experts from Public Health England analysed 34 meals from restaurants, hotels and pubs which were mostly made up of chicken or duck breast cooked in a water bath.

Sales of sous-vide machines, which can cost up to £400, are reported to have increased by around 300 per cent in recent years in the UK. The results, in the journal Epidemiology and Infection, showed ten had ‘unsatisfactory’ levels of bacterial contamination and another eight were borderline.

The technique, pioneered by celebrity chefs like Heston Blumenthal, is lauded for its ability to preserve flavour and texture, but it braises food well below the 100C boiling point of water.

Microbiologist Professor Hugh Pennington, who investigated the deaths of 21 people in Scotland in 1996 from an outbreak of E.coli, said: ‘I would not want to eat anything that had not been heated through properly.’