The best defense against trichinosis is proper food preparation. Follow these tips to avoid trichinosis:

  • Avoid undercooked pork, walrus, horse, bear or other wild-animal meat. Be sure whole meat is cooked to an internal temperature of 145 F (63 C) throughout, and don't cut or eat the meat for at least three minutes after you've removed it from the heat source. Ground pork must be cooked to at least 160 F (71 C) and can be eaten immediately after you remove it from the heat source. Using a meat thermometer is the best way to ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked.
  • Have wild-animal meat frozen or irradiated. Trichinosis can occur in any meat-eating mammal. Irradiation will kill parasites in wild-animal meat, and deep-freezing for three weeks kills trichinella in some meats. However, trichinella in bear meat does not die by freezing, even over a long period. Neither irradiation nor freezing is necessary if you ensure that the meat is thoroughly cooked.
  • Know that other processing methods don't kill parasites. Other methods of meat processing or preserving, such as smoking and pickling, don't kill trichinella parasites in infected meat.
  • Clean meat grinders thoroughly. If you grind your own meat, make sure the grinder is cleaned after each use.
May. 24, 2012

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