Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

The effect of temperature and time on the viability of Taenia solium metacestodes in pork

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Karen Schou Møller
  • Helena Ngowi, Sokoine University of Agriculture
  • ,
  • Pascal Magnussen, Centre for Medical Parasitology, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Jeanette Magne
  • Mwemezi Kabululu, Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (TALIRI) - Uyole
  • ,
  • Maria Vang Johansen, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen

Objective: Taenia solium taeniosis is a growing health problem in large parts of the world including Sub-Saharan Africa. Humans are infected by eating undercooked pork with T. solium metacestodes, which cause taeniosis. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of increasing temperatures on T. solium metacestode viability in pork. Methods: Heavily T. solium infected pieces of pork were cooked in a water-bath at five different temperatures (40 °C, 50 °C, 60 °C, 70 °C and 80 °C) for 10–60 min. At each temperature/time point, five 5x5x5 cm pieces of pork fitted with thermometers at the core were placed in the water-bath. Controls were kept at 5 °C throughout exposure. After exposure, approximately 100 intact metacestodes were harvested and after a maximum of 6 h incubation at 37 °C in a culture media consisting of 50% porcine bile and 50% saline, the metacestodes were evaluated for viability. Results: The metacestodes were fully viable after cooking at a core temperature of 40 °C for up to an hour. The metacestodes were non-viable after cooking for >40 min at a core temperature over 50 °C. All metacestodes were dead after cooking for 30 min at a core temperature of 60 °C; at 70 °C, non-viability was found after 20 min and all metacestodes were dead after 10 min cooking at 80 °C. Conclusion: Findings showed that pork pieces cooked at >80 °C for >10 min proved safe for human consumption. This means that dishes consisting of pork pieces in sizes not greater than a 5 cm cube which are immersed in continuously boiling water for at least 10 min would be safe to eat. However, pork deep-fried in oil may entail a risk due to generally shorter cooking time. More research on the cooking practises is needed in order to produce safe guidelines for risk-free pork consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100436
JournalVeterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

    Research areas

  • Cooking practices, Cooking time, Eating habits, Parasitology, Rural Tanzania, Taenia solium

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 194767398