Health Watch -- Food-Borne Illness: Pork

Health Watch is a public service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we're talking about food-borne illnesses. When foods aren't stored, cleaned or cooked properly, they can cause illness. More than 75 million people suffer from food-borne illnesses every year in the United States.

One potential cause of food-borne illness is undercooked pork. Dr. Vickie Vaclavik, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says undercooked pork may harbor a parasite that causes trichinosis. Pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 155 degrees in order to ensure that the parasite is killed. In general, you should avoid eating meat that's still red around the bone. In a restaurant, order pork to be cooked well-done.

Symptoms of trichinosis include abdominal pain, diarrhea, muscle soreness and swelling around the eyes.  



July 2006

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