Worms In Meat: 8 Parasites Lurking In Your Food, Number 4 Will Shock You

    Worms In Meat: 8 Parasites Lurking In Your Food

    Martin Alvarez

    Martin Alvarez
    Nutritionist/Dietitian Professional Guide

    Updated on 11/26/2022

    Parasites and bacteria are transmitted through food, and you can find worms in meat that can cause death if not controlled; hence, this is a grave concern for governments and those who produce food.

    Foodborne germs and parasites are often invisible and tasteless might be rather alarming for consumers. Here are eight that could be hiding in your food and some easy ways to avoid becoming sick or spreading infection.

    1. E. coli

    E. coli

    It is common practice to refer to Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, abbreviated as STEC, when discussing the strain of E. coli responsible for making people ill. STEC strains, most frequently 0157, are responsible for producing a toxin known as Shiga that is harmful to individuals. The most common source of E. coli is raw meat or undercooked meat.

    It does not manifest itself in the senses of sight, smell, or taste. Ingestion might cause abdominal cramping, vomiting, fever, and diarrhea, which is frequently bloody. Other symptoms include a high risk of infection.

    How To Protect Yourself From It

    There is now no drug that can be used to treat an E. coli infection, nor is there a vaccination that can be used to protect against it. You may lessen the likelihood of becoming sick by ensuring that all the meat you consume is fully cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71.1 degrees Celsius).

    When preparing beef, make sure your work area is clean, wash your hands often, and don't use any cooking tools that have been previously contaminated.

    2. Giardia

    Giardia

    In the United States, giardiasis is one of the most prevalent causes of sickness transmitted by contaminated water or food. In most cases, the parasite will be discovered in water or food that has been tainted by feces that carry the parasite. Giardiasis is the medical term for an infection caused by Giardia.

    When it comes to diet, the most common way to get giardiasis is through eating pig, lamb, or wild game that has not been adequately prepared.

    Infection can cause various uncomfortable symptoms, including cramping, gas, diarrhea, and nausea. According to a reputable source, the onset of symptoms can take anywhere from one to two weeks, and their resolution can take anywhere from two to six weeks. In extremely unusual instances, the symptoms may last for months or even years.

    How To Protect Yourself From It

    Giardiasis is something that can be avoided if you:

    • It would be best if you washed your hands rather often.
    • We are consuming water derived from municipally-treated sources.
    • Swimming without taking any water into your mouth
    • Cooking your meat all the way through

    3. The Tapeworm

    3. The Tapeworm

    There are several different species of tapeworms that are capable of entering the body through the digestive tract.

    Most tapeworms that infect humans are transmitted by consuming raw or undercooked infected fish and undercooked or raw animal products. The most common tapeworms that infect humans are found in beef and pig.

    People can have a tapeworm for months or even years without realizing it since they may not have any symptoms. Tapeworm infections can cause unpleasant symptoms, including decreased body weight, gastrointestinal discomfort, and irritation the anus.

    How To Protect Yourself From It

    Infection with tapeworms may be avoided by adequately cooking all of the meat consumed and carefully washing all fruits and vegetables before they are consumed or used in the preparation of food. Itching and a lack of proper hygiene can worsen an existing pork tapeworm infection. It happens when eggs are moved from the anus to the mouth after being transmitted from the anus by scratching or wiping.

    4. Toxoplasma Gondii

    4. Toxoplasma Gondii

    You were taught to always wash your hands after touching animals for a reason, and there is a good reason for that. The tiny parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii, which is responsible for the sickness known as toxoplasmosis, can only replicate inside cats. Cat feces are how it spreads to the rest of the globe.

    If you handle the litter box of an infected cat or touch an infected cat and then go on to take food without first washing your hands, you risk transferring the parasite to the food you handle or prepare. Toxoplasmosis has symptoms similar to the flu, and according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), it is the third largest cause of mortality caused by foodborne illness worldwide.

    Eating undercooked meat or drinking water that has not been treated can also lead to contracting this parasite illness.

    How To Protect Yourself From It

    The most effective measures you can take to protect yourself against illness are to wash and boil your food carefully, to wash your hands often, and to put on gloves if you come into contact with cat excrement.

    5. Ascaris

    Ascaris

    Intestinal roundworms belonging to the genus Ascaris are often passed from person to person by consuming the worm's eggs. These eggs can make their way into your food if you handle contaminated soil or don't thoroughly wash the fruits and vegetables produced in contaminated soil before eating them.

    Symptoms of ascariasis are often minor or nonexistent. However, they might include nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort, coughing, and shortness of breath—the parasite Ascaris cause ascariasis.

    How To Protect Yourself From It

    Washing your hands often, washing any food before you eat it, and avoiding any product you have reason to believe may have been cultivated in polluted soil are all effective ways to ward against infections and protect your health.

    6. Cryptosporidium

    Cryptosporidium

    Parasites known as Cryptosporidium can be discovered in raw vegetables, milk, and fruit juice. These parasites are encased in a tough shell.

    An infection with the parasite known as cryptosporidiosis (Crypto) can result in gastrointestinal distress, low-grade fever, cramping, and watery diarrhea. These symptoms often start up anywhere from two to ten days (with seven days being the norm) following the substance's absorption.

    When changing a baby's diaper, for example, you risk contracting an illness if you come into touch with feces that carry the parasite.

    How To Protect Yourself From It

    Washing all of your fruit very thoroughly, consuming only pasteurized milk and juices, and washing your hands regularly throughout the day are all effective preventative measures against crypto.

    7. Fish Tapeworms Or Flatworms (Flukes)

    7. Fish Tapeworms Or Flatworms (Flukes)

    The family Opisthorchiidae and the genus Paragonimus are only two examples of the several kinds of flukes and flatworms that may be found in fish. Because these worms are eliminated during the cooking process, the only way you have a possibility of accidentally consuming one of them is by eating raw fish.

    The symptoms might differ from one species to another. The symptoms may not appear for months, although they usually include discomfort in the digestive system.

    How To Protect Yourself From It

    Even though you may be tempted to swear off sashimi forever, the likelihood of contracting an illness is, luckily, reasonably low. This is especially true of more expensive seafood of a "sushi-grade" quality.

    If you are traveling outside of the nation, it is strongly recommended that you avoid eating raw freshwater fish and foods in which the preparation techniques are unclear.

    8. Pinworms

    Pinworms

    Species such as Vibrio vulnificus, Shigella, and Trichinella are examples of pinworms, which are also known as threadworms. Pinworms are also known as threadworms. In the United States, they are responsible for most worm infections.

    Even though children are most likely to be affected by pinworms, anybody can get infected with them. Because of improper hygiene, such as when a child does not wash their hands before eating, pinworms may end up in their food. They also spread quite quickly once they do. If just one member of a home becomes infected with the disease, the entire household will need to undergo treatment.

    In the intestines, the worms have a lifespan of around five to six weeks until they perish, leaving behind eggs that subsequently hatch and cause an infestation.

    The itching around the anus is the most typical sign of pinworm infection. This symptom can lead to a more significant infestation when youngsters scratch the afflicted area, bringing the worms and eggs back up to the mouth and face, where they can continue reproducing.

    How To Protect Yourself From It

    Pinworms are largely curable with medicine and may be avoided by practicing better cleanliness. Despite their generally benign nature, though, they can cause discomfort.

    Beneficial Parasites And Bacteria

    Beneficial Parasites And Bacteria

    Is It Possible To Consume Parasites Or Germs That Have Health Benefits?

    There are, in fact, parasites and bacteria that are helpful to the body. Beneficial microorganisms for human health are called probiotics. Live probiotic bacteria may be found in fermented foods and drinks such as kombucha, kimchi, sourdough bread, and sauerkraut. Probiotics have been shown to improve digestive health. It has been discovered that they can help enhance gastrointestinal health, cardiovascular health, immunological function, skin health, weight management, and mental health.

    There are, in fact, parasites and bacteria that are helpful to the body. Beneficial microorganisms for human health are called probiotics. Live probiotic bacteria may be found in fermented foods and drinks such as kombucha, kimchi, sourdough bread, and sauerkraut. Probiotics have been shown to improve digestive health. It has been discovered that they can help enhance gastrointestinal health, cardiovascular health, immunological function, skin health, weight management, and mental health.

    Beneficial Parasites And Bacteria

    Research has also shown that parasites may be more helpful to humans than was previously believed Trusted Source. [citation needed] Researchers in the medical field have investigated the possibility that parasites might be beneficial in treating immune-mediated disorders or gastrointestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis.

    The answers reflect the opinions of our in-house medical professionals. The material contained below is purely informative and in no way constitutes professional medical advice.