In light of the swine flu outbreak that has received extensive media coverage, RecipeTips.com would like to assure you that you CANNOT get swine influenza from consuming pork or pork products. If properly handled and prepared, all pork recipes in the RecipeTips.com collection are completely safe to eat.
If you follow the USDA guidelines for safe handling and cooking of food, pork is no more risky to eat than any other type of meat. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remind people that cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160°F kills any bacteria or virus that may be present in the meat.
Because of the negative impact that the 2009 outbreak of swine flu is having on pork sales and consumption, there seems to be a consensus among farmers and pork producers, and, indeed, a large segment of the general population (who have nothing to do with pork production) that the name, swine flu, is an unfortunate choice of words for this type of influenza, since the 2009 strain actually contains genetic segments not only from pig viruses of North America, Europe, and Asia but also from human and bird viruses as well. Health officials have seen combinations of pig, bird, and human viruses before, but until the 2009 swine flu outbreak, they had never seen such an intercontinental combination of viruses, including more than one pig virus.
Misinformation has led to unnecessary fear among many people who wrongly equate pork consumption with swine flu, and this misinformation has even led to the needless destruction of thousands of pigs in various places throughout the world. Because of the lack of factual information, mostly associated with the name swine flu, the World Health Organization (WHO) is no longer referring to the 2009 influenza outbreak as swine flu. As of April 30, 2009, WHO began referring to the new influenza as Influenza A(H1N1). See the WHO Website at http://www.who.int/en/ for more information. Other resources for current information on Influenza A(H1N1) can be found on the CDC Website at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/, the pork.org Website at http://pork.org/, or see the RecipeTips article, “All About Swine Flu.”
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