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Trichinosis (cont.)

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Is trichinosis a common disease?

Trichinosis is a common disease in many wild carnivorous and omnivorous animals worldwide, except for Australia. Because of strict measures by the meat (pork) industry and public-health authorities, especially in developed countries, the incidence of disease in humans has dropped dramatically in the last few decades. For example, the United States has averaged only about 12-20 cases per year in the last two decades. However, there are outbreaks that occur sporadically in the world when meat (especially pork) is improperly cooked or is contaminated with undercooked or raw wild-game meat. If the source of the outbreak is a meat supplier, hundreds of people can become infected as was the situation that occurred in Poland in 2007.

Is it possible to prevent trichinosis?

Yes, trichinosis can be prevented. The CDC has outlined specific ways to prevent this disease as follows:

  • The best way to prevent trichinellosis is to cook meat to safe temperatures. A food thermometer should be used to measure the internal temperature of cooked meat. Do not sample meat until it is cooked. USDA recommends the following for meat preparation.
    • For whole cuts of meat (excluding poultry and wild game)
      • Cook to at least 145 F (63 C) as measured with a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of the meat, then allow the meat to rest* for three minutes before carving or consuming.
    • For ground meat (including wild game, excluding poultry)
      • Cook to at least 160 F (71 C); ground meats do not require a rest* time.
    • For all wild game (whole cuts and ground)
      • Cook to at least 160 F (71 C).
    • For all poultry (whole cuts and ground)
      • Cook to at least 165 F (74 C), and for whole poultry, allow the meat to rest* for three minutes before carving or consuming.

*According to USDA, "A 'rest time' is the amount of time the product remains at the final temperature, after it has been removed from a grill, oven, or other heat source. During the three minutes after meat is removed from the heat source, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys pathogens."

Where can I get more information on trichinosis?

http://www.dpd.cdc.gov/dpdx/HTML/Trichinellosis.htm

http://www.trichinella.org/index.htm

http://www.trichinella.org/bio_nursecell.htm

REFERENCES:

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Parasites -- Trichinellosis: Biology." Aug. 8, 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/trichinellosis/biology.html>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Parasites -- Trichinellosis: Prevention & Control." July 19, 2013. <http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/trichinellosis/prevent.html>.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/25/2013

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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/trichinosis/article.htm

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