Trichinosis is an illness that occurs from consuming undercooked meat and ingesting the larvae of Trichinella parasites. These larvae grow inside the body of the consumer, with the males expiring after mating and the females repeating the cycle with their larvae being born before their mother dies. Symptoms of trichinosis include diarrhea, inflammation, difficulty breathing, and heart problems. Trichinosis is not typically fatal, but it can be excruciating to experience. The best way to deal with trichinosis is to avoid it altogether. Learn about how to prevent it now.
Avoid Undercooked Meat
The best way to avoid trichinosis is to avoid undercooked meat. Undercooked meat is a breeding ground for worms and other parasites. When cooking meat at home, individuals need to make sure they are following all the guidelines regarding temperature. A meat thermometer is an indispensable tool. If individuals don't have one handy, they can utilize the 'touch test,' where they check the doneness of meat based on comparing how it feels to the texture of their hand. Raw meat will feel like the section of their palm below their thumb. Rare meat will feel like their thumb and index fingers pressed against one another. Medium rare will feel like their thumb and middle fingers pressed together. If individuals are eating out and suspect their meat is undercooked, they should not hesitate to send it back.
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Clean Meat Grinders Thoroughly
Individuals need to make sure to clean meat grinders thoroughly after use. Since using these involves processing raw meat, there could be worms or larvae left on the grinder. Without cleaning, individuals could end up transferring them to their food in future uses. Thus, they need to clean it right after using it. Start this process by running a couple slices of bread through the machine to absorb any remnants of meat. The grinder then needs to be taken apart and washed by hand in warm water with soap. These pieces should be soaked and then scrubbed carefully with a sponge to ensure they are cleaned but not stripped of their integrity. They should also be dried with a soft towel.
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Irradiate Or Freeze Wild Animal Meat
Hunters need to be aware of how to properly treat any meat they catch during a hunt. Irradiating or freezing wild animal meat works to eradicate any parasites existing within the meat. With irradiation, food is treated with ionizing radiation to eliminate parasites and other infectious beings. This is a safe and common procedure. Freezing at temperatures below zero can also eliminate parasites. However, the meat still needs to be cooked properly to prevent re-emergence. Individuals should consider purchasing a freezer exclusively for wild animal meat. Make sure to also monitor the temperature to ensure any parasites can be frozen out.
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Clean Kitchen Surfaces Thoroughly
When individuals clean kitchen surfaces thoroughly, they greatly eliminate their chances of being exposed to trichinosis. After cooking a meal involving meat, individuals should make sure to wipe, soap, and scrub kitchen surfaces as thoroughly as possible. This should be done right after a meal is complete to prevent any parasites from being unwittingly transferred to other areas of the home. Any utensils that touched the raw meat or surfaces the raw meat touched should be washed thoroughly as well. Anything that cannot be washed in a dishwasher should be run under warm water and scrubbed with soap before being placed back in their proper locations.
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Wash Hands With Soap and Water
One of the best ways to prevent trichinosis is also one of the easiest. When individuals wash their hands with soap and water after touching raw meat, they prevent transferring parasites. If individuals were to handle raw meat and then eat without washing their hands, they could be bringing the parasites into their body. Thus, every kitchen should always be stocked with hand soap. If someone is cooking with others, they should be sure to remind others to wash their hands on a regular basis. When washing their hands, individuals must coat their hands with as much soap as necessary and to run them under the warm water for no less than twenty seconds.