Thursday, March 18, 2010

MYTH: I can contract the swine flu (H1N1 virus) from eating pork products.

Answer: BUSTED!

It is NOT possible to contract the H1N1 virus from pork. Initial laboratory testing indicated that many of the genes in the H1N1 virus were similar to the swine flu virus normally occurring in pigs, which is how it got the nickname "swine flu". However, further testing has shown that the current H1N1 virus has genes from viruses normally occurring in pigs, birds, and humans. This virus can only be spread from person-to-person, most often through coughing or sneezing. Sometimes the influenza virus can also be spread by touching an object that an infected person has touched and then touching your mouth or nose. Click here for more information about preventing or treating the H1N1 flu.

Although it is not possible to get H1N1 from pork products, it is possible to get a foodborne illness due to improper cooking. The minimum internal cooking temperature for pork is 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

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