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Did He Just Say “Trichinosis”?

Ham is a tough topic in our house. Ham is tough because, frankly, it comes from a pig.

And until a few days ago, everyone thought all meat came from chicken. I mean, they ate hamburgers, bacon, sausage and the like, but Joseph called hamburgers and steak “black chicken,” and ham was “pink chicken.” I know this sounds a little frighteningly naive coming from an eight-year-old but he was eating, the siblings were eating, why rock the boat?

Well, Edward, never one to eat pork of any kind, finally called a spade a spade and announced that ham was pig.

And that was cool with everyone except somehow that started a lengthy conversation on foodborne illness which progressed, (or digressed, depending on how you look at it), to the point of Googling statistics regarding how many trichinosis cases there are per year in the US (about 12). And learning that wild bear and cougar are other major sources of trichinella infection. And that has led to a heightened interest in all things epidemiological.

(Sometimes when starting to answer questions about topics like this, I think to myself, “Why am I talking about this? This will just come back to haunt me.” And usually it does.)

So H is at Publix with Edward and they approach the meat area where Lee, the “food barker” or demonstrator, is trying to promote a pork tenderloin recipe. Edward sums up this foodborne threat immediately. He turns to a shocked patron reaching for one of these porky morsels and cries out for all to hear, “Lee is undercooking the pork! He doesn’t know about trichinosis! Everyone who tries it is going have worms living in their muscles!”

The scowling Lee begins to shuffle around uncomfortably. (I mean he’s wearing a hairnet and serving pork chunks in the meat aisle of a Publix and now he’s being berated on food safety by what looks like a 4-year-old.)

An elderly lady turns to H and asks in a hushed voice “Did he just say trichinosis?”

“Oh yes, he did,” a proud H replies.

Posted on 10 July '08 by , under "Did He Just Say ?".

4 Comments to “Did He Just Say “Trichinosis”?”

#1 Posted by mrsbear0309 (11.07.08 at 22:31 )

lol. That’s an awesome story, I definitely won’t eat undercooked pork now that I know it’ll cause worms to breed in my muscles. Argh. For the record, I call all meat chicken when my kids are little, it just keeps things simple. My five year old is just now learning that chicken comes from an actual feathered chicken and that ham and bacon from a *gasp* pig. Thanks for the comments also!

#2 Posted by Shut-In as Victim: Foodborne Illness on Wheels (22.07.08 at 01:31 )

[…] Even our 6-year old could give sound advice regarding the dangers of improper food preparation (he likes to warn customers in the meat department of our grocery store about pathogenic bacteria and parasites – he’s not good for their […]

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