Pork Industry Assures Public Pork is Safe


Responding to the outbreak of swine influenza in humans, the U.S. pork industry is stressing to the public that pork is safe to eat. In a news release Sunday, the National Pork Producers Council, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said preliminary investigations have determined that none of the people infected with the swine flu had contact with hogs.

The council made it clear that people generally don’t contract swine influenza through eating pork or pork products, especially if the meat is properly handled and cooked. But the council urged producers to tighten their protocols to protect pigs from the virus, including restricting public access to barns.

In addition, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a statement Sunday reassuring the public that there is no evidence at this time showing that swine has been infected with the virus. “According to scientists at USDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, swine flu viruses are not transmitted by food so you cannot get swine flu from eating pork or pork products,” Vilsack said. “Eating properly handled and cooked pork or pork products is safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160°F kills all viruses and other foodborne pathogens.”

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