H1N1 flu can't be caught from ham or pork

Dec. 9, 2009 at 4:24 PM
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DALLAS, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- The H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, has some who feast on holiday ham wondering if it is safe, but a U.S. nutritionist says no one gets the flu from ham.

Lona Sandon, assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas said diners should go ahead and enjoy ham and other kinds of pork at their holiday celebrations.

"You can't catch swine flu from eating pork or pork products," Sandon, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, says in a statement. "Cooking pork to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit kills most bacteria and viruses, including H1N1."

Raw pork is also safe from H1N1 flu, but individuals handling raw meat of any kind should make sure they wash their hands with soap and warm running water to avoid spreading bacteria found on raw meat that can cause food poisoning, Sandon recommends.

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Topics: H1N1, Lona Sandon
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