Is Trichinosis still a threat?
I grew up eating burnt pork chops. Mom always made sure she cooked those fully, and honestly I love a burnt pork chop, a well crusted dried out pork chop sounds just fine to me. The Maillard reaction is a wonderful thing. Thanks Mom?
During 2008-2010, 20 cases were reported to CDC each year on average. The overall number of cases reported has decreased because of improved pig-raising practices in the pork industry, commercial and home freezing of pork, and public awareness of the danger of eating raw or undercooked meat products. The number of cases associated with raw or undercooked wild game meats has remained relatively constant over time (Figure 2). Over the past 40 years, few cases of trichinellosis have been reported in the United States, and the risk of trichinellosis from commercially raised and properly prepared pork is very low. However, eating undercooked wild game, particularly bear meat, puts one at risk for acquiring this disease.
My understanding is that it is very rare because of how pigs are fed in the modern age. Trichinosis was common in the past because pigs were allowed to range freely and eat any number of wild things in addition to slop. These days, the majority of pigs are kept well penned and fed a diet largely of controlled products. All commercial pork in supermarkets is pretty much feed-lot pork. The more kind you are to your pigs, the more likely you will want to be careful about cooking levels. That said, it doesn't have to be dried out and burnt to kill off the problem.
Trichinosis is very rare in NZ, but does happen.
Speaking of rare, a government site here says holding meat at a minimum core temperature of 60 Celsius (140 Fahrenheit) for at least one minute will kill the parasites.
We're basically talking rare to medium rare at that temp.
I like pork medium so I'm safe-and there's no feral cats around here, which are more of a worry than pigs for Trichinosis here.
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