Last year, the USDA went a little soft on pork cookers and announced that whole pork was safely prepared at 145 degrees, lowering the minimum temperature from 160. But now, in a study conducted by Consumer Reports, researchers found that many pork products across the country are infected with Yersinia enterocolitica, a rare bacteria strain that is known for causing diarrhea and abdominal pain. The bacteria was present in 69 percent of the raw pork products tested by Consumer Reports.
Samples of pork chop and ground pork were found to contain “significant amounts of antibiotic-resistant bacteria” and “low levels of growth hormone.” Salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, and listeria monocytogenes were also found.
National Hog Farmer contested the article, and claimed that buyers can choose from a variety of pork suppliers, and cook the meat at whatever temperature they choose. Chris Novack, the chief executive officer of the National Pork Board said, “The bottom line for consumers it that properly cooked pork is safe for you.”
For now, it might be best to ask for your pig well done.