Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/12/2006
Publication Date: 5/10/2007
Citation: Gamble, H.R., Zarlenga, D.S., Kim, C.W. 2007. Helminths in meat. IN: Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Fontiers. pp. 629-648. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Foodborne parasites have undoubtedly had an impact on human health throughout history. They are important from the standpoint of their direct effect on the well-being of humans, who almost universally consume animal meat as a source of protein and other nutrients. They also serve as a trade obstacle for countries where a high prevalence of zoonotic parasites in livestock may prevent trade with countries where these parasites are rare. There are four meatborne helminths of medical significance including: Trichinella spp., Taenia solium and Taenia asiatica, which occur primarily in pork, and Taenia saginata, which is found in beef. Despite the availability of sensitive, specific diagnostic tests, veterinary public health programs (meat inspection) and effective chemotherapeutic agents for human tapeworm carriers, these parasites continue to be a threat to public health throughout the world. There are a variety of reasons for this including animal management systems which perpetuate infection, inadequate or poorly enforced inspection requirements for slaughtered animals, new sources of infection, and demographic changes in human populations that introduce new culinary procedures for preparing meats. Thus, current control and preventive procedures are inadequate to varying degrees, and more effective control measures are needed to ensure safe meat for human consumption.