Pink Pork

In my house, we cook the hell out of pork. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve lived in fear of trichinosis and worried that little worms would eat my innards out if my pork chop was soft enough to be cut or easily chewed. Of course, I never actually knew anyone who had trichinosis, but it sounded very scary. In recent years, the better restaurants have been serving pork pink. And I’ve been sending it back.

Well, now it appears that unless you are living on a farm in Thailand or Poland, pink pork is safe. Over the last twenty years, there have been between 12-20 cases of trichinosis reported in the United States per year. Yesterday, the United States Department of Agriculture announced that it is lowering its recommended temperature for cooking pork to be the same as for beef, veal and lamb. Nevertheless, it may still be a while before I order my pork chops medium rare.

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