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Question about eating undercooked pork
  1. #1
    Soyb0y is offline New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Question about eating undercooked pork

    Is the risk of getting tapeworms or something high if you accidently eat undercooked pork just one time.

  2. #2
    zippysgoddess is offline Advanced Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    Well, it actually would depend on the origin of the meat. Did the pork come from a store, so the meat went through USDA processing and inspections from a professional butchering and meat packaging company? If so, the chances are fairly low that you would catch anything from it.

    By the way, pork more often contains hookworms rather than tapeworms.

    If the pork came from a smaller, local meat company that is not as strictly monitored as the large companies, or from a friends or associates farm that does their own butchering, then yes, there is a good chance of infection.

    Undercooked though, does not necessarily mean infection, if the pork was slightly pink, the risk of infection will also vary according to the temperature that the entire meat reached when cooking. If the middle reached 180degrees for several minutes or more, even though it didn't reach its white opacity, then it is highly likely all parasites were killed by the high temperatures.

    If you are in doubt about properly cooking some form of meat, including pork, you can purchase in inexpensive meat thermometer at your local Wal-Mart, Target or what ever store you choose, and they list, right on the thermometer, the various temps you need to hit before the meat in question is considered done. You simply insert the thermometer, making sure to wash it between each use, as you don't want to recontaminate anything, into the middle of the meat and see if it hits the recommended temp, when it does, it is done and safe to eat.

    If you ate the meat at a friends house and are worried about it, you could easily make them a small gift pack of various kitchen or household items, including a meat thermometer, without ever saying anything to them about your concerns, but once they see it, they will more than likely use it. I have done this for some friends of ours who had no clue about food safety and always did questionable kitchen practices, after my family got sick from eating dinner at their house.

    Now, if you are worried about infection, you can often treat yourself at home, just in case, simply by taking a laxative for a few days in a row, flushing your intestines also serves to flush out the parasites, before they get a chance to settle into your system and cause problems. Or you can visit your doctor, some docs will want to run tests for an infection first and only treat if it is present, which will require a stool sample from you, or they will prescribe a worm med, just like a vet would for your pets, without testing, just to be on the safe side.

    Hope this info helps. I have learned a lot about food safety. Once, years ago, when I was much younger and less experienced in the kitchen, I grated some potatoes and made my husband breakfast with hashbrowns, but in the rush to get to work, they didn't cook thoroughly and I was clueless about the proper scrubbing of potatoes and other vegetables. Well he got sick at work, so bad he could no longer control any bodily functions, his blood pressure hit rock bottom, they had to rush him to the hospital. By the time I found out, the hospital thought he wasn't going to make it. They ran all kinds of tests and the only thing they found was that his white cell count was way off the charts, so his body was fighting something, and the only thing they could narrow it down to was the potatoes being contaminated with E-Coli, it was the only thing he ate that my son and I did not eat that day. Luckily, with their supportive therapy and several IVs of liquids and antibiotics, he did survive and was able to come home later that same day, with just a warning about what he ate, some info on the dangers of dirty or poorly cooked foods, and instructions to drink tons of liquids to prevent further dehydrations.

    But ever since then, with the thought that I could have killed my husband, I have been very, very picky about food cleanliness and thoroughly cooking everything. All veggies and fruits are scrubbed, if in doubt, I always use my meat thermometer. I do not eat at places that are not clean, and I don't care if it is the home of friends and family, the health of my family is more importat than offending them. We will not eat there, and I will flat out tell them why.

    I sat there one day, at a friends house when she was making hamburgers for the grill. She was using the same rag that she used to wipe up bloody meat gunk, to clean all the other surfaces in the kitchen, by the time I was done, she was very annoyed with me, but what I did was sat there and started pointing it out when she picked up the rag and contaminated another surface. Her husband has the habit of taking the plate that he carried the meat out to their grill on, dumping the bloody stuff off and then using it to carry the cooked meat back in the house, well he tried that ONCE here and I had a fit.

    My information is not guaranteed correct. I do not get them right all the time, but I do enjoy the hunt~

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