It’s called swine flu, but chances are … your swine is fine. Barbeque ribs? Enjoy! Bacon? Have a good breakfast! Pulled pork sandwich? Get me one too!
Eating pork already has the potential for giving you all kinds of health problems because of its fatty albeit delicious disposition, and now it can give you the flu?!?!?!?! Not really. Not at all, actually.
It’s a fair and obvious question: can I get swine flu from eating infected swine? The answer from doctors is NO. The flu virus cannot be passed to humans by consuming cooked pork. The official line is that any flu virus present would be killed if the meat is cooked to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius). You don’t necessarily need to break out the meat thermometer. As long as your meat is “done,” you’re probably alright.
Maybe the media hasn’t done a good enough job explaining this swine story clearly and putting it in perspective. Maybe some people out there have not taken enough time to educate themselves about what’s happening right now. Or, maybe some are just not paying attention. Either way, there are still a number of understandable and unanswered questions about what’s going on.
So much of the current hubbub comes because there’s a lot that doctors still don’t know. We are dealing with a new strain of the flu virus. That’s a big deal. And, until doctors know more about what it is, what it’s capable of, and how it behaves, they are acting out of an abundance of caution.
So, until we know more, let’s go on what we do know. And one thing we do know: it’s not yet necessary to take the ‘B’ out of your B.L.T.