Six people eat undercooked bear meat, contract ‘brain worms’

US News

A family suffered a grizzly bear problem after a family reunion: brain worms.

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, six of eight family members ages 12 to 62 who enjoyed a meal that included skewers made from black bear meat contracted trichinellosis, also known as of “brain worms”. Two of the sick family members ate only vegetables cooked with the meat.

The foodborne illness — rarely reported in the United States, but usually caused by eating wild game — emerged when one of the family members, 29, visited a Minnesota hospital in July 2022 with fever, severe muscle pain. swelling around the eyes and other abnormalities found in blood tests, the CDC said. He reported that he had spent time with family members from Arizona, Minnesota and South Dakota in the latter state that summer and had been hospitalized twice over a period of 17 days.

A family realized they had fallen ill after eating undercooked bear meat after one of the participants suffered a fever, severe muscle pain, swelling around the eyes and other abnormalities in his blood tests. CDC

While together, the family indulged in the meat of a black bear that one of them had hunted in northern Saskatchewan, Canada, the previous May. The hunter believed the meat was safe after being stored in a home freezer for 45 days before consumption.

The worms would have been killed, the CDC said, if the meat had been cooked to a temperature above 165 degrees.

“The meat was initially served rare inadvertently, apparently because it was dark in color and it was difficult for family members to visually determine the level of doneness,” the CDC said. “After some family members started eating the meat and noticed it was undercooked, the meat was recooked before being served again.”

The reunion ended before the Minnesota family member fell ill.

Three of the relatives with symptoms were hospitalized and all six recovered.

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