View Full Version : Don't eat the bears!

07-15-2004, 15:23
U.S. Issues Bear Meat Warning Over Trichinosis

By Paul Simao

ATLANTA (Reuters) - U.S. health officials warned hunters and consumers on Thursday not to eat raw or undercooked bear meat and wild game following an investigation into a handful of trichinosis infections in New York and Tennessee.

Two cases of the parasitic infection, also known as trichinellosis, were confirmed in a Tennessee couple who ate bear steaks at a barbecue last summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites) said in a report.

The meat, which was taken from a black bear shot in Canada during a hunting trip, was cooked medium rare.

Another case surfaced at about the same time in a New York man who ate approximately two pounds of nearly raw bear meat purchased from a custom slaughter house, the Atlanta-based agency said.

The three people suffered from fevers, muscle weakness, facial swelling or other symptoms of the disease, which is spread by roundworms that live in meat-eating animals such as bears, pigs and dogs.

All have made a full recovery.

Robert Kenny, assistant director of public affairs in the New York State Department of Health, said awareness of the need to properly cook wild game, including bear meat, was the key to keeping a lid on the disease.

Trichinosis can be prevented by cooking meat to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Freezing kills the parasite in pork but not in wild game.

"Wild game should be cooked well-done," Kenny said.

Traditionally linked to consumption of infected pork, trichinosis has declined in the nation since the 1940s due largely to government bans on feeding untreated garbage to swine as well as the practice of widespread freezing of pork.

A total of 72 cases were reported to the CDC between 1997 and 2001. Bear meat was the most common known source of infection.

The CDC, however, said the disease might rise due to the combination of an increase in local bear populations and the popularity of bear hunting in the northeastern United States and Canada.

About 1,850 bears were reported killed by hunters in New York last year, a record number for the state.

11-21-2004, 01:16
I wouldn't think you would want to eat any undercooked meat, much less that of wild game.