Incidently, I once knew a man who had trichinosis. Curiously, he was glad to get the diagnoses - because the doctor’s first diagnoses, mistaken, was that the patient had contracted syphilis, and he was having a hard time explaining that to his wife.
We have had howling coyotes every night this week. It almost sounds like they are singing in harmony rather than the same tune. One then the next, then the next, and so on, all at different pitches. The dogs and the cat are very interested, but fortunately manage to stay away from that area. I’ve already lost bunches of chickens over time, so they are staying in the run for now instead of free ranging.
Back in the 70s my fiancée grandfather had a huge cookout involving a bunch of drunkenly undercooked bear burgers. Over 30 people wound up going to the hospital for thricinosis and it spurred a CDC investigation.
About 30 years ago I had a serious face infection near one of my eyes. The doctor called it erysipelas. When the intern came in after discussing the case with the doc outside the ED room, he told my dad I had syphilis. I think it went right over his head. I told the doctor what the intern said to my dad and he left to go straighten things out. That must have been an interesting conversation!
I’ve heard that pieces of plywood with sharp nails through them tend to discourage bears. I’d try that under my trees before picking stuff greener than I wanted it. It’s easy enough for a human to pull away a piece of plywood, but you could use a couple pieces of rebar driven into the ground to make it real hard for a bear to if they aligned with holes in the plywood. Hard to lift a board without thumbs.
Rare bear here is a juvenile passing through after being pushed out of native range, but I’ve seen photos of the damage they do to apple trees…not pretty.
Incidence of trichinellosis in commercially-raised swine is almost zero…all they ever eat, for the entirety of their lives, is a corn/soybean based diet, and most are on concrete
from conception to slaughter.
Feral hogs and ‘home-raised’ pigs have a higher incidence. Bear…pretty high in some areas, particularly where there’s a long history of garbage can/dump foraging.
As if you needed another reason to fully cook ground beef…if the butcher processed a feral or home-raised hog, making sausage, then ground hamburger without taking the meatgrinder apart and cleaning it between batches, the ground beef could potentially contain Trichinella-infected pork…unbeknownst to the customer.
That’s a very interesting thought Lucky. Currently there aren’t many diagnosed cases of trichinosis in the U.S. (less than 20 diagnosed cases per year). There are probably considerably more undiagnosed cases.
Most of the human cases involve eating wild game. In small “mom and pop” butcher shops, I doubt the meat grinders are cleaned (or cleaned well) between animals. I think more people nowadays are buying meat local (as is the case with produce) so your point is particularly pertinent.
For folks who buy from a local butcher, or butcher a steer at a local butcher, freezing the meat for 20 days kills the trichinella larva. That’s if your freezer is 5F. Colder temperatures are common in many freezers. Colder temps kill trichinella larva faster. Or cooking the meat to an internal temp of 165F.
Of the approximately 80 cases of diagnosed trichinosis from the 5 year period from 2008 to 2012 6 cases came from pork purchased at a supermarket and 2 cases came from pork purchased at a restaurant. A very small amount of cases considering the annual per capita consumption of pork in the U.S. is 51 lbs. per year. Still, a good reminder to cook your bacon thoroughly before you put it on your BLT.
why i refuse to eat bear meat. i worked for a guide 20 yrs ago pelted and quartered them before bringing to the butcher. very dirty animals. bears here are almost always infected. lots of people eat them but i wont.
Beef, lamb, mutton, venison, etc. are highly unlikely to be infected with T.spiralis, as they are not meat-eaters or omnivores… infection requires consumption of uncooked muscle tissue containing encysted Trichinella larvae - which these herbivorous species rarely do. But… meat products derived from those herbivores - particularly ground products - can potentially be ‘contaminated’ if processed through grinders that have been used on bear, feral hogs, and, less likely, domestic swine.
USDA-APHIS folks are still carrying out low-level surveillance for Trichinella in pork in this part of the country. They’ll sample diaphragm muscle at some of the smaller meat processors that have USDA inspectors on site. I’m unaware that they’ve had any positives in this area in years.
Despite the minimal risk, I still prefer my pork cooked well-done - but I’d be less concerned about some medium-rare pork than a hamburger with pink in the middle.
As a rule I don’t eat pork that is still pink in the center, but if it’s just marginally gray I’m still OK with it. I don’t like it to be dried out. I think somewhere over 150 F is probably done enough.
I suspect that a lot of guidelines have a generous safety factor built in to compensate for human error and maybe thermometers that are off and maybe just to make the standard setter (and maybe a crew of lawyers) feel safe!
Seversl years back, there were several reports on the ProMED list about trichinellosis outbreaks in Russia, associated with eating dogs.
Did some searching and came across a site indicating that undercooked bear, dog, and badger are common sources of trichinellosis for humans in Russia…and it made a claim that bear meat contains some protective substance that prevents freezing from killing encysted Trichinella larvae…and that only cooking will render them noninfectious.