Clearing up the bad rap pork is getting - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Clearing up the bad rap pork is getting

By Donna McCollum

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - First and foremost the National Pork Board wants you to know this about the H1N1 flu. "We know now that it's not a an animal related illness. It's human to human contact," explained Dr. Erin Brown, director of the Stephen F Austin State University Swine Center. And you can't catch this strain from pigs. "The H1N1 flu has nothing to do with any wild, feral, or domestic hogs here in Texas or in the rest of the country," said Cary Sims, Texas AgriLife Extension Agent. This all means pork is safe to eat, if properly cooked. "Pork is fine to eat, it has nothing to do with the swine flu or the H1N1 flu that's going around. In fact, we just ate pork ribs for lunch," shared Anna Lee, Texas AgriLife Consumer Science Extension Agent.

So why is it called swine flu? The name stuck years ago when one particular strain was transmitted from pigs to humans. Before the current strain was known, workers at the Swine Center took flu shots as a precaution. Another strain is transmitted from humans to pigs. For a while no guests were allowed. Now porkers enjoy visitors.  

Everyday staff isolate their boots and guests put on protective booties. Everyone washes their hands coming and going. This is a practice to prevent disease. The pork industry tells you this because they don't want to see profits fall. "I hope consumers will realize that our products are safe and will continue to consume them," expressed Brown.

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