According to medical experts, the truth about human parasities is that hot dogs, ham slices, cold cuts, pork chops and bacon are the some of the most likely foods to give you worms. The runners-up include other types of processed meats like chicken and fish, as well as unwashed, imported fruits and vegetables. Unseen to the naked eye, many meats contain various types of worms and protozoa that want to make a cozy home inside your intestinal tract. The Puristat medical company says: “We trust the cattle, pork and chicken producers to keep their livestock wormed on a regular basis, but over 50% of animals that go to slaughter are parasite infected.”
Parasites aren’t just something that wild animals and pets have; according to doctors an estimated 90% of people have parasites too, right now. Despite showering daily, drinking treated water and mopping the floor from time to time, humans are still incredibly susceptible to parasitic infestations, and they just don’t tend to know it. In fact, people can be downright angry at the suggestion that they may be suffering from parasites, simply because in most first-world cultures such things are believed to be problematic only to poor nations. The truth is that parasites are everywhere and they are living inside of most of us, regardless of our region or financial status.
So how do parasitic infections occur? Creatures such as roundworms, Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium parvum and amoebas come into contact with humans mainly via their food, hands and water. When we become infected from hot dogs or other contaminated foods, it is not because we accidentally ate a worm, but because we unknowingly ate the eggs. Eggs can be found in animal feces and subsequently on people’s hands and food due to cross-contamination. Eating a few worm eggs does not necessarily mean that you will become infested, however continually eating contaminated foods or water will almost always result in intestinal infestation. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that more than 60 million American adults – plus 50 million children – are carrying Toxoplasma gondii from contact with undercooked meat.
One of the reasons that these infections go unchecked in most cases is that parasites are difficult to diagnose. Worms can also be undetected for many years in your intestinal tract without being noticed in terms of negative symptoms, so treatment is rarely sought out.
Symptoms of parasitic infestation include the following:
- Worms in stool
- Stomach and abdominal pain
- Gas and Bloating
- Bloody stools
- Loose, runny stools
- Rectum and vulvar itching or rash
- Weight loss
There are five main ways to contract parasites: Through contaminated food, water, animals, other humans or traveling. Foods that contain parasites and eggs need to be cooked thoroughly to remove the threat, however some packaged, pre-prepared meats are generally only warmed-through before being consumed. Despite a widespread love of hot dogs and other pork products, the truth is that undercooked pork products like hot dogs can absolutely give you worms and other parasites. Just ask your doctor!
Written by Mandy Gardner