A new USDA study again confirms that meat and tissue from pigs that were exposed to two strains of the Novel H1N1 2009 influenza virus did not contain the virus.

The results were published in the Public Library of Science's online journal, PLoS ONE. Scientists with USDA's Agricultural Research Service at the National Animal Disease Center, which is part of USDA's National Centers for Animal Health in Ames, Iowa, conducted the study.

"This research provides additional reassurance for consumers about pork's safety," says ARS Administrator Edward Knipling. "The information contained in the study also will benefit customers of U.S. pork products, both here and abroad."

For the study, researchers inoculated 30, five-week-old piglets with the Novel H1N1 virus to determine the pigs' susceptibility. A control group of five pigs were not inoculated. All pigs were observed daily for clinical signs of illness and were euthanized at three, five or seven days post inoculation.

Researchers tested tissue samples of the pigs' lungs, liver, muscle, spleen and other vital
organs, using the most sensitive tools available to detect the presence of live virus and nucleic acids from the virus. The inoculated animals showed signs of upper respiratory disease consistent with influenza. There was no evidence that the virus had spread to any other parts of the animal's body.

Influenza is a respiratory disease and does not effect other tissues.
These latest findings support World Health Organization's stance that pork harvested from swine that had been infected with Novel H1N1 influenza and recovered can be safely handled and eaten, following standard meat-handling hygiene practices.  

The research results can be viewed here.

Source: Meatingplace.com