Domestic and wild animals which consume meat are at risk of becoming infected with Trichinella and therefore may pose a public health risk. Among domestic livestock, pigs are most commonly associated with Trichinella infection, but human outbreaks have also resulted from consumption of horsemeat, wild boar, bear, walrus and other wild animals. For animals that are not produced under controlled management conditions and for wild animals, specific steps should be taken to prevent human exposure to Trichinella. These steps include appropriate testing of individual carcasses to identify those that pose a public health risk, post-slaughter processing to inactivate Trichinella in meat that might be infected, and education of consumers regarding the need for proper preparation methods for meat that might contain Trichinella larvae. The International Commission on Trichinellosis recognizes three (3) acceptable means of treatment to render potentially Trichinella-infected meats safe for consumption: 1) cooking, 2) freezing (for meat from domestic pigs), and 3) irradiation. Proper use of these methods is described here, along with specific cautions on use of other methods, including curing and heating with microwaves.
Domestic and wild animals which consume meat are at risk of Trichinella infection.
Post-harvest inspection methods for Trichinella in pigs reduce human disease.
Heating is acceptable for treatment of meat to inactivate Trichinella.
Freezing is acceptable for the inactivation of Trichinella in domestic pork.
Curing processes must be validated to prove inactivation of Trichinella.