Authorities advise that pork is safe to eat

Posted by James Ferre on 1st May 2009

New South Wales Primary Industries Minister, Ian Macdonald, has today reassured consumers that they cannot catch swine flu from eating pork or pork products.

“There is no risk of contracting swine influenza from eating pork or other pig products,” Mr Macdonald advised. “Swine influenza is a virus transferred via human contact – not by food.”

“I fully support the reassurances made by Australian Pork Limited (APL) that consumers can have the utmost confidence in pig meat,” he added. “All fresh pig products sold in Australia are locally grown and the virus is absent in Australian pigs.”

“All pig meat products imported into Australia from overseas are processed (cooked or cured) in a manner that would inactivate the virus, if it were present.”

Echoing advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), NSW Food Authority Chief Scientist, Dr Lisa Szabo, said swine influenza has not been shown to be transmissible to people through eating properly handled and prepared pork or other products derived from pigs.

“The swine influenza virus is killed by cooking temperatures of 70°C, corresponding to the general guidance for the preparation of pork and other meat,” Dr Szabo said. “Swine influenza is not regarded as a food safety issue so people need not be concerned about eating pork or other pig meat products.”

“The message is simple: pork is safe to eat,” Minister Macdonald concluded.

The national food regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has prepared a fact sheet regarding swine influenza and food, which can be found at:

 www.foodstandards.gov.au/