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

  • Avoid undercooked meat. Be sure whole cuts of meat other than poultry and wild game are 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. Cook ground pork and beef to at least 160 F (71 C). They can be eaten immediately after cooking.

    Using a meat thermometer is the best way to ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked.

  • Avoid undercooked wild game. For both whole cuts and ground varieties, cook to an internal temperature of at least 160 F (71 C).
  • Avoid undercooked poultry. For whole cuts and ground varieties, cook to a temperature of at least 165 F (74 C). For whole cuts, let the poultry sit for three minutes before cutting or eating.
  • Have wild-animal meat frozen or irradiated. 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.
April 02, 2015

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