A study conducted by scientists with USDA's Agricultural Research Service confirms that meat and tissue from pigs exposed to two strains of the 2009 novel pandemic H1N1 virus did not contain the virus. ARS Administrator Edward Knipling says this research provides additional reassurance for consumers about the safety of pork prepared for consumption.
Researchers inoculated a group of 30 five-week-old pigs with the virus to determine the pigs' susceptibility to H1N1. Researchers tested tissue samples of the pigs' lungs, liver, muscle, spleen and other vital organs using the most sensitive tools available. The inoculated animals showed signs of upper respiratory disease consistent with influenza, however there was no evidence that the virus had spread to any other parts of the body.
These findings support recommendations of the World Health Organization that pork harvested from swine that had been infected previously and had recovered from the virus can be safely handled or eaten, following basic hygiene practices for handling of meat.