“Although news of influenza infections in people in Mexico, the United States and a handful of other countries is unsettling, the fact remains: U.S. pork is safe,” declares American Meat Institute (AMI) President J. Patrick Boyle. “Consuming pork has not been associated with human illnesses caused by this virus.”

In fact, public health officials around the globe from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the World Health Organization are stressing this fact, says the AMI official.

“At this point the influenza risk is a human health issue. Although this particular virus could affect swine, it has not been reported in pigs. Media reports showing images of pigs are creating a false impression that is generating needless alarm and concern regarding the safety of pork,” Boyle points out.

AMI is urging U.S. officials to work aggressively with a handful of nations that have ceased imports of U.S. pork to make them understand that science doesn’t support their actions.

“Consumers can continue to enjoy vitamin-rich pork as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Consumers should continue to use normal safe handling practices when preparing fresh pork, like cooking thoroughly, keeping raw foods separate from cooked foods and washing hands, cutting boards and other surfaces and utensils that contact raw pork with hot soapy water.

Go online for more meat safety information.