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Swine flu update: Pork is safe, U.S. Department of Agriculture says

April 27, 2009 | 12:04 pm

Worrying about eating pork? You shouldn’t be, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

“There is no evidence at this time that U.S. swine have been infected with this virus,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in a statement released today. And, he added, “Our pork and pork products are safe. The discovery of this virus in humans is not a basis for restricting imports of commercially produced U.S. pork and pork products.”  (China and Russia have banned pork products from Mexico and parts of the U.S. )

Vilsack also said he has reminded the USDA to contact agriculture officials in every state to remind them to “affirm they have no signs of this virus type in their state’s swine herd.”

“There is no evidence to show that swine influenza can be transmitted through food,”  states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a swine flu brochure. “Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products is safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160 degrees [Fahrenheit] kills bacteria and viruses.”

--Rosie Mestel

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