Freezing Parameters Eliminates Trichinae Trade Concerns

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory (APLD), in collaboration with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, has determined freezing parameters for destruction of all North American species of trichinae larvae in pork.

The APDL research that forms the basis for the current cold treatment requirements for pork was conducted in 1990. The research determined the time/temperature combinations that inactivated the Trichinella spiralis organism in pork.

Trading partners recently agreed to accept frozen pork from the United States as part of the World Trade Organization agreement.

This agreement was reached despite objections raised by international veterinary experts as to a risk posed by cold-tolerant species of trichinae recently found in the United States and Canada. It was agreed that further studies would be conducted to clarify that situation.

Results demonstrated that the time/temperature combinations known to render pork safe for Trichinella spiralis are sufficient to inactivate all North America species and genotypes of trichinae.

These results eliminate concern amongst pork importers about the safety of U.S. frozen pork products, and should secure an annual trade market worth $400 million.

Researcher: Dolores Hill, USDA, ARS, APDL. For more information, contact Hill by phone (301) 504-8770, fax (301) 504-5558 or e-mail

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