RKI: No raw meat for children, pregnant women, the sick and the elderly
Young children should not eat raw meat products such as minced meat, as the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) said in a recent announcement. Pregnant women, the elderly and patients with a weak immune system should also avoid eating raw meat. Raw meat is often contaminated with bacteria and can cause serious infectious diseases.
Untreated meat is often contaminated with bacteria. The immune system is not yet fully developed in small children, so that pathogens can cause devastating diseases. Pregnant women should also discontinue use to avoid complications such as abortions during pregnancy. The organism of the elderly and that of the chronically ill is often too weak to adequately ward off germs. These groups of people should also refrain from eating raw meat.
Ground beef is often the cause of gastrointestinal infectionste
A recent study by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) showed that far more young children in Germany consume raw meat than previously thought, despite extensive educational work. This exposes toddlers to an incalculable risk from their parents. Minced meat was served to the children, which was also eaten raw. Of all patients with gastrointestinal infections, 30 percent of the patients had previously eaten pork. Even children in the first year of life were among those affected.
The President of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Dr. Andreas Hensel: “Raw food derived from animals is often contaminated with pathogens. Particularly sensitive groups of people, such as small children, pregnant women, the elderly or people with weakened immune systems, should therefore generally not consume these foods raw ”. Raw meat products are often contaminated with bacterial strains of the genera Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli including EHEC, Yersinia and Listeria. In addition, studies have repeatedly identified viruses and parasites in raw meat.
70,000 registered intestinal infections caused by Campylobacter
In 2011, over 70,000 people in Germany alone contracted bacterial infections caused by Campylobacter. The bacteria are particularly often found in raw or only half-cooked poultry. Campylobacter also settle in raw milk, eggs and other types of meat. The pathogen has become one of the most common triggers for inflammatory bowel infections with symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, as well as nausea and vomiting.
Salmonella poisoning also occurs frequently in this country. Although the infection rate has dropped significantly due to improvements in the production process, diseases caused by the pathogen Salmonella Typhimurium still occur frequently. The germs are found primarily in turkey and pork. Zoonosis monitoring in 2009 showed that around five percent of minced meat sold in Germany is occupied by salmonella. The analysis found mainly the dangerous Salmonella Typhimurium. According to a bulletin from the Robert Koch Institute, minced meat poses the greatest risk. Bacteria of the genus Yersinia were particularly often detected in minced meat samples made from pork. In humans, the germs lead to gastrointestinal infections with vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.
Minced meat not for children under 5 years
According to the RKI and BfR, children under 5 years of age, older people and people with a weakened immune system should never eat raw fish and meat products. This is the only way to ensure adequate protection against food poisoning. In addition to raw meat, those mentioned should also avoid raw sausage, raw milk cheese, raw milk, uncooked or undercooked eggs, smoked salmon, pickled salmon, sushi and raw seafood such as oysters.
Proper preparation reduces the risk of infection
If meat is prepared, the surfaces, such as small boards, should be cleaned intensively because these offer the germs an ideal living space for propagation. Subsequent use for the further preparation of other foods should be avoided if the utensils have not been cleaned. Don't forget to wash your hands afterwards. If minced meat was bought, it should immediately be stored in the refrigerator and consumed on the same day. When the expiry date has passed, the meat may no longer be used.
To kill germs, fish and meat should be cooked in sufficient time and at a sufficient temperature. As a rule of thumb, the inside temperature of the meat should reach at least 70 degrees for two minutes. (sb)
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