Checks proved that many products are unsafe. Semi-finished products, canned goods, sausages, ready-made dishes often do not meet the high-quality standards that the manufacturer claims. But is the purchase of ingredients and self-cooking at home a guarantee that everything will be fine? Not always. But you can minimize the risk if you cook by the rules. When it comes to meat, you should be especially careful, because it can hide bacteria and parasites!

Invisible Enemy: Bacteria

The diseases caused by bacteria are quite numerous, although they are often similar in symptoms.

Campylobacter infection (Campylobacteriosis)

Bacteria of the Campylobacter genus can live in the intestinal tract of animals and poultry. The infection caused by them is usually transmitted by food – through the meat of infected animals and products from it.

Symptoms and complications of Campylobacter infection

These bacteria are one of the main causes of foodborne diarrheal diseases. Campylobacteriosis is characterized by the fact that the clinical manifestations of the infection are very diverse. The most common form of infection is enterocolitis. Systemic lesions may also occur such as septicemia; meningitis; lesions of the cardiovascular system (thrombophlebitis, myocarditis, endocarditis), kidney and urinary tract. The liver and gall bladder are often affected. Complications can affect the nervous system, and then diseases such as paresis, paralysis, polyneuritis can manifests. Bacteria also affect the locomotor system: arthritis, synovitis, bursitis. Neonatal pathology is also possible: septic abortions and preterm delivery, accompanied by the development of septicemia, meningitis, and enteritis in the newborn.

Tips: how to prevent a Campylobacter infection

It is necessary to cook the meat sufficiently for it to be fully cooked. Campylobacter is not resistant to high temperatures and quickly die when heated to 60 ° C for 1-15 minutes. The main thing is that the required temperature is reached in the center of the piece.

It is also important to follow the rules of hygiene and ensure that raw meat does not come into contact with those products that do not undergo heat treatment.

Staphylococcal infection (Staphylococcus)

Some pathogenic forms of these bacteria can produce an enterotoxin, which causes food poisoning. Most often, staphylococci get into the food from the hands of a person who cooks food, or with milk from sick animals. But in some cases, the meat of sick animals can also become a source of infection.

The peculiarity of these bacteria is that they are very tenacious: at a temperature of 80º С they die only after 20-30 minutes, and some strains tolerate heating up to 100º C. They survive several months in frozen foods, and at room temperature, they can live up to 4 months. Also, they are not afraid of high concentrations of sugar and salt. But they are sensitive to the acidic environment

Symptoms and complications of Staphylococcal infection

The disease characterized by pain in the stomach, vomiting, weakness, malaise, chills, lowering blood pressure. The temperature is usually low, but it can reach up to 38.5º C. Disorder of the stomach occurs in about half of the cases.

Tips: how to prevent a Staphylococcal infection

First of all, it is necessary to follow the rules for storing meat and, of course, to buy it with the observance of reasonable precautions (not in the place where obvious sanitation is observed).

Salmonella infection (Salmonellosis)

This is an acute infectious disease caused by salmonella. Salmonella is a species of spore-borne bacteria pathogenic for humans. They enter the body with food and settle on the intestinal walls.

Symptoms and complications of Salmonella infection

The action of the toxin, which salmonella secrete, is manifested in the loss of water through the intestines, impaired vascular tone, damage to the nervous system. Symptoms of the disease are general weakness, fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, and indigestion.

Tips: how to prevent a Salmonella infection

It is necessary to thoroughly cook the meat. Salmonella dies at a temperature of 55º С in an hour and a half, at 60º С it dies in 12 minutes. To prevent negative consequences, it is recommended to warm the food for at least 10 minutes at a temperature of 75º C. Note: Salmonella survive freezing well, so only high temperatures can help fight them.

Listeria infection (Listeriosis)

These bacteria cause a disease called listeriosis, which is dangerous primarily for young children and the elderly – severe consequences can be fatal. Listerias are found in soil, water, plants, through them they can enter the body of animals, the meat of which is then eaten.

Symptoms and complications of Listeria infection

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, headache, chills. In pregnant women, listeriosis can cause fetal pathology. For people with sufficiently strong immunity, the prognosis is generally positive.

Tips: how to prevent a Listeria infection

These bacteria die during heat treatment. To protect yourself from the disease, it is necessary to roast or boil the meat well, while respecting all the rules of hygiene: meat should not come into contact with food that is not exposed to temperature, dishes that had raw meat must be thoroughly cleaned, as well as chopping boards.

Brucella infection (Brucellosis)

This is an infectious disease that is caused by bacteria of the Brucella genus. They mainly affect animals, and then through their meat, they get to a man. Infection can occur through contact with a sick animal, or with meat and milk products. This disease causes damage to the organs of the vascular, digestive, urogenital systems

Symptoms and complications of Brucella infection (Brucellosis)

Malaise, insomnia, pain in the muscles and joints, headache, loss of appetite. Usually, the temperature rises. Chills, weakness, excessive sweating are also possible. Mental disorders are also possible. Residual effects after the acute form of the disease can lead to disability. In pregnant women, the infection can cause a miscarriage.

Tips: how to prevent a Brucella infection (Brucellosis)

Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to neutralize already infected meat. You can boil it in small pieces for three hours or soak in brine for at least 70 days. It is much easier to carry out disease prevention and not to eat foods that are in doubt.

Life at your expense: parasites

In the meat of animals and birds may be the larvae of various parasites. Once in the human body, they develop and cause a variety of diseases, including deadly ones.


The larvae are located (around them a capsule is formed) in the muscles and may thus exist in the host for a long time. In this state, they often fall into the body of another host and develop into an adult. It is in this way that a person is usually infected by an animal through the consumption of contaminated meat. Trichinella in the adult stage is parasitized in the wall of the small and the beginning of the large intestine. But it is not they who are dangerous to humans, but their larvae, which in turn penetrate human muscle tissue and, in large numbers, cause the strongest manifestations of intoxication.

Symptoms and complications of Trichinosis

Nausea, vomiting, fever, an infected person may feel tired, an abdominal pain. Later, symptoms such as swelling, muscle and joint pain, cough, pruritus, constipation, diarrhea develop. If a lot of larvae get into the human body (more than 5 per kilogram of weight), this can be fatal.

Tips: how to prevent a Trichinosis

Trichinella is rare, and it is quite simple to protect oneself from them. It is good enough to roast or boil meat (most often the trichinae larvae are found in pork and, especially, in wild animal meat – wild boar or bear). You can also meet the recommendation to freeze the product and leave in this state for a long time, but this is not a guaranteed method, and it is better not to resort to it.

Diseases caused by Tapeworms

Infection occurs by ingesting larvae – cysticercus, which, hitting with the meat that has undergone insufficient culinary processing, turn into adult individuals in the human intestine, causing such worm-like diseases as tenioz and teniarinhoz.

Symptoms and complications caused by Tapeworms

Symptoms of the infection, in general, can be abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation.

Tips: how to protect yourself from Tapeworms?

These parasites are mainly dangerous to the inhabitants of the third world countries, the probability of their presence in the meat, which we eat, is relatively low. In order to destroy the tapeworm larvae, it is necessary to subject the meat to thorough heat treatment – they do not tolerate high temperatures.

Summing up, we note that the most universal advice may sound like this: thoroughly cook raw meat, fry well or boil it for as long as it takes to be fully cooked. It is necessary to wash thoroughly ware in which there was a slice of raw meat.

And, of course, it is important to take a responsible approach to the issue of food choice, paying particular attention to its quality and safety.