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Survival of North American Genotypes of Trichinella in Frozen Pork

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North American genotypes of Trichinella spiralis (T-1), Trichinella nativa (T-2), Trichinella pseudospiralis (T-4), Trichinella murrelli (T-5), and Trichinella T-6 were examined for susceptibility to freezing in pork using time-temperature combinations that have been proven to inactivate T. spiralis. Infections were established in 3-month-old pigs of mixed sex and breed by oral inoculation of 10,000 muscle larvae (ML) (all genotypes, rodent-derived ML), 20,000 ML (T-1, T-4, and T-5; cat-derived ML), or 30,000 ML (T-2 and T-6; cat-derived ML). Pigs were euthanized 60 days postinoculation. Muscles from the tongue, masseter muscles, diaphragm, triceps, hams, neck, rump, and loins were ground, pooled, and mixed to ensure even distribution of larvae. Samples (20 g) containing each Trichinella species, genotype, and source combination were placed in heat-sealable pouches, transferred to a constant temperature refrigerant bath, and maintained according to defined time and temperature combinations. Larvae recovered from cold-treated pork samples were inoculated into mice to determine infectivity. Results indicated that the time-temperature combinations known to render pork safe for T. spiralis are sufficient to inactivate T. nativa and T-6 (the freeze-resistant isolates), T. murrelli (the most common sylvatic species in the United States excluding Alaska), and T. pseudospiralis (a species that lacks a muscle nurse cell). These data close a gap in knowledge about the effectiveness of freezing for inactivating these parasites in pork and should alleviate concern about the safety of frozen pork products from the United States.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Animal and Natural Resources Institute, Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, BARC-East, Beltsville, Maryland 20705, USA. dolores.hill@ars.usda.gov 2: Centre for Food-borne and Animal Parasitology, Saskatoon Laboratory, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 116 Veterinary Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N 2R3 3: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Animal and Natural Resources Institute, Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, BARC-East, Beltsville, Maryland 20705, USA 4: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Diet, Genomics, and Immunology Laboratory, BARC-East, Beltsville, Maryland 20705, USA 5: National Academy of Sciences, Policy and Global Affairs Division, 500 Fifth Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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