Prevention & Control
The best way to prevent trichinellosis is to cook meat to safe temperatures. A food thermometer should be used to measure the internal temperature of cooked meat. Do not sample meat until it is cooked. USDA recommends the following for meat preparation.
For Whole Cuts of Meat (excluding poultry and wild game)
Cook to at least 145° F (63° C) as measured with a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of the meat, then allow the meat to rest* for three minutes before carving or consuming.
For Ground Meat (including wild game, excluding poultry)
Cook to at least 160° F (71° C); ground meats do not require a rest* time.
For All Wild Game (whole cuts and ground)
Cook to at least 160° F (71° C).
For All Poultry (whole cuts and ground)
Cook to at least 165° F (74° C), and for whole poultry allow the meat to rest* for three minutes before carving or consuming.
*According to USDA, “A ‘rest time’ is the amount of time the product remains at the final temperature, after it has been removed from a grill, oven, or other heat source. During the three minutes after meat is removed from the heat source, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys pathogens.”
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap after handling raw meat.
- Curing (salting), drying, smoking, or microwaving meat alone does not consistently kill infective worms; homemade jerky and sausage were the cause of many cases of trichinellosis reported to CDC in recent years.
- Freeze pork less than 6 inches thick for 20 days at 5°F (-15°C) to kill any worms.
- Freezing wild game meats, unlike freezing pork products, may not effectively kill all worms because some worm species that infect wild game animals are freeze-resistant.
- Clean meat grinders thoroughly after each use.
To help prevent Trichinella infection in animal populations, do not allow pigs or wild animals to eat uncooked meat, scraps, or carcasses of any animals, including rats, which may be infected with Trichinella.