Sunday, May 10, 2009

Just say no to pork . . .

Friends keep telling me that pork is safe, that you can't get swine flu from eating pork. I don't know. I think you can get a lot of things from eating pork, and evidently, so does the WHO. And even if you don't get sick, you might just want to do a little reading on how pigs are raised and marketed these days.

And then there's this quote from Grist . . .

"Don’t associate U.S. pork with the swine flu outbreak—you can’t catch it through pork. Plus, no pigs on U.S. CAFOs are infected with it.

That’s message the industry and the USDA are straining to get across, anyway. Except ... you can catch swine flu from pork, according to the World Health Organization. "

Yep, you can catch it from pigs, and no one knows if US pigs are infected. They aren't exactly rushing to find out either.

4 comments:

Adam Deutsch said...

A world without pork is not a world I want to live in.

You can take my liberty, but don't take my bacon!

jeannine said...

I think if you don't cook pork to 160 degrees (which would probably kill any viruses) you will have worse problems than swine flu, I believe.

Zaphos said...

The more complete quote is less frightening I think:

"Meat from sick pigs or pigs found dead should not be processed or used for human consumption under any circumstances," Jorgen Schlundt, director of WHO's Department of Food Safety, Zoonoses and Foodborne Diseases.

"While it is possible for influenza viruses to survive the freezing process and be present on thawed meat, there are no data available on the survival of Influenza A/H1N1 on meat nor any data on the infectious dose for people," he wrote in an email reply to questions from Reuters concerning the safety of pork, respiratory secretions and blood of H1N1-infected pigs.

Schlundt warned people to be cautious with blood and meat-juices from H1N1-infected pigs.

"The likelihood of influenza viruses to be in the blood of an infected animal depends on the specific virus. Blood (and meat-juice) from influenza H1N1-infected pigs may potentially contain virus, but at present, this has not been established," Schlundt said.

"Nonetheless, in general, we recommend that persons involved in activities where they could come in contact with large amounts of blood and secretions, such as those slaughtering/eviscerating pigs, wear appropriate protective equipment," he said."

Nin Andrews said...

Actually, I'd be wary of all blood . . . chickens, pigs, cows, etc..

But I had a friend once describe to me at a dinner party the slaughtering and processing of pigs. I won't go into the details,but I will say that he explained that sanitation was not a priority.