New Era Newspaper

New Era Epaper
Icon Collap
Home / Undercooked pork poses health hazard

Undercooked pork poses health hazard

2023-09-20  Max Heinrich

Undercooked pork poses health hazard

ONGWEDIVA – Disease control veterinarian Nelson Andimba has cautioned Namibians against consuming undercooked pork as it poses serious health risks. 

The Ongwediva-based State veterinarian particularly pointed to the likelihood of suffering from tapeworms as one of the common diseases resulting from the consumption of half-cooked pork.

“When pigs ingest embryonated eggs of a parasite from any contaminated water or environment, it develops into a cyst, now these cysts actually penetrate the muscles of a pig and these muscles [pork] are eaten undercooked, there is potential that humans can acquire those tapeworms that can develop into cysts,” said Andimba.

He further explained that pigs are the intermediate hosts of cysts and humans get the cysts through the pork and eventually the cysts develop into adult tapeworms.

“In severe cases when the pork meat is infested with tapeworms, one will see things like grain on the meat muscles called trichinosis. When the tapeworms develop into adults in the human body they are called taeniasis and will reproduce in the intestines,” explained Andimba.

“When it comes to the symptoms, one can lack energy because the parasite is feeding on your body nutrients, it is alive because it is feeding on you; feeling fatigue or tired because you are lacking energy, your body balance is sharing nutrients with the parasite; feeling nauseous because it has infected your brain and in severe cases blurry visions,” explained the veterinarian.

Andimba further gave an insight on the dangers of also eating undercooked meat in general.

“Undercooked meat can be harbouring bacteria and can cause food poisoning. It is also unhygienic as fungi can grow on meat especially if not safely stored. When we defrost and re-frost meat again, removing from the fridge to defrost it just to take one piece and putting it back in the freezer can favour the growth of bugs due to the change in temperature,” explained Andimba.

New Era reached out to Amen Ames, who has been on the receiving end of semi-cooked pork. 

She recalls the scary night when she felt something move between her legs while watching television.

She says when she went into the bathroom for inspection, she realised there was a spaghetti-like worm in her underwear. 

“I started to panic because prior to this, I was not feeling well, so I assumed the worse [and] went to the hospital the next day and showed a picture of what I found on my panties and (the doctor) asked if I have been eating pork lately, he told me that I have tapeworms in my body due to eating undercooked pork,” Ames narrated. 

She said before seeing the tapeworm from her body, she was sceptical about going to the hospital even though she experienced symptoms explained by Andimba.

“I thought I was going to die because tapeworms can grow so long and start feeding on your brain or liver. I now avoid eating pork unless I cooked it myself,” said Ames.

2023-09-20  Max Heinrich

Share on social media