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  • Trigonosis

    I am curious if anyone has heard of bears in Alaska having triganosis. Or is this an old wives tale. I know if you cook pork for to 165 degrees it kills the cysts that make the worm. Has anyone actually heard of some one getting this worm from bear meat? Or are most people like me and just read about it and assume that the bears are containing it? Thanks Viktor

  • #2
    TRICH or treat

    Commonly talked about, but as you posted proper cooking will take care of any problem... To my knowledge is known to be found in some bears but I have eaten my fair share without a problem. I don't have personal knowledge of bears in AK having it...

    You'll hear folks go on and on about the concerns but won't think twice about eating ecoli invested beef or poultry infected salmonella.

    During 1997-2001, an average of 12 cases per year were reported. (nation wide)

    Trichinellosis, also called trichinosis, is caused by eating raw or undercooked meat of animals infected with the larvae of a species of worm called Trichinella. Infection occurs commonly in certain wild carnivorous (meat-eating) animals but may also occur in domestic pigs.


    • #3
      true or not?

      I don't know if this is true or not, but I remember reading somewhere that over half of all brown bear meat has trich, which is just fine, as long as you cook it well. I know most of you do not eat browns, but some do in Western Ak.


      • #4
        Here's an excellent link on Trich...


        • #5
          Bears are like pigs

          The first time I cooked bear meat I noticed how strong a resembalance it has to pork. You can cook it and cook it and it takes a lot to dry it out much like pork. The disease you talk of is not a concern unless you eat bear meat that is not properly cooked. I personally love black bear meat but am always cautious to make sure its thoroughly cooked and advise friends and family of that when I give meat away.


          • #6
            I have two friends who caught it from bear meat. It wasn't much fun.

            Rare, but it is out there. Cook that meat!
            Louis Knapp


            • #7
              old man sense

              I talked to an old fella once who told me that the reason you don't see it much in Ak is because the bears that have it are the ones who get into people food. Cabins, dumpsters ect. but If you kill one out in the wild where they don't have access to these things then they will not have it.
              Just what I heard, could be false I dunno. Cook it and be certain I guess.


              • #8
                plenty of trich up here

                both bear and seal carry trich in alaska, and cooking is the only way to kill it. freezing, though i have heard it will kill the cyst, will not kill the arctic trich...(go figger)
                all the guys at our local hardware store hook&bullet counter got trich a few years ago from bear jerky at their super bowl party...
                Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"


                • #9
                  trich info from CDC

                  From CDC:

                  How can I prevent trichinellosis?

                  Cook meat products until the juices run clear or to an internal temperature of 170 o F.

                  Freeze pork less than 6 inches thick for 20 days at 5 o F to kill any worms.

                  Cook wild game meat thoroughly. Freezing wild game meats, unlike freezing pork products, even for long periods of time, may not effectively kill all worms.

                  Cook all meat fed to pigs or other wild animals.

                  Do not allow hogs to eat uncooked carcasses of other animals, including rats, which may be infected with trichinellosis.

                  Clean meat grinders thoroughly if you prepare your own ground meats.

                  Curing (salting), drying, smoking, or microwaving meat does not consistently kill infective worms.


                  • #10

                    There are several cases reported every year in Alaska - almost exclusively from undercooked black bear...usually roasts. To the best of my knowledge once you get the larvae -> encyst in muscle tissue, you have them for the duration. Usually also present in griz/brown bear...but few people eat griz.
                    "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"


                    • #11
                      Prevalence varies

                      Did some surfing on the state Division of Epidemiology website.

                      Bear meat has been surveyed a few times in several areas of the state through the years. Trichinosis prevalence in black bears varies from 0% to 90% depending on region (the Epi bulletins didn't say which was where - you could try calling.)

                      Freezing most strains of Trichinosis to -20f for several days kills the cysts, but, as a previous poster suggested, this is NOT the case with arctic strains. No study has suggested any degree of freezing will kill them. (And does your freezer get below -20f?)

                      Makes sense - the parasite has evolved up here so it can be passed to a scavenger that eats a winter killed animal.

                      The poster who suggested seals play into the equation was also dead-on. High trich infection in both seals and walrus. Not surprisingly, polar bears are thick with it.

                      As a final note, this is why food banks won't take black bear meat - even from spring bears. There's enough Trich out there that the state won't allow it. I personally think that's a shame, because adequate cooking really does take care of the problem, but DEC's food safety folks won't budge.


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