The Ministry of Health in Mainland has recently reported an illness affecting farmers who have slaughtered pig or sheep in the Sichuan Province. The illness is initially found to be related to Streptococcus suis which is a common pathogen in pigs. Human infection by the bacterium has been reported occasionally worldwide as well as locally. The infection is often related to occupational exposure through wounds while handling infected pig carcasses.

The issue has been a concern of the local community as pork is one of the main meat source in Hong Kong. As pigs diagnosed of infection in slaughterhouse would be condemned and would not enter the food chain, the chance of contracting the bacteria is extremely small. Besides, the bacteria can be killed at a temperature of 75oC or above and for the consumers, the mainstay of control lies with thorough cooking.

As a general precautionary measure, people handling raw pork are advised to observe good personal, food and environmental hygiene at all times. The following safety tips are useful: