Butchering Pig each cut broke down

Butchering Pig

Butchering Pig

Butchering Pig


Pig slaughter is a necessary activity to obtain pig meat – pork. It regularly happens as part of traditional and intensive pig farming. Learn how to cook a whole hog here!

Pigs are slaughtered at different ages. Generally they can be divided into piglets, which are 1.5 to 3 months old; the fattening pigs, intended for pork and bacon, which are 4 months to one year old; and finally the older pigs, such as sows (female pigs) and boars (uncastrated male pigs). The meat obtained from piglets is subdivided into more meaty or more fatty, determined by the thickness of bacon. Male hogs are usually castrated a month before slaughter. Their meat quality is determined on the mass of halves and the thickness of bacon on the back. What is choline?

Transport of pigs to slaughter and all the other procedures and circumstances leading up to the actual act of stunning and killing the pig are in modern times carefully arranged in order to avoid excessive suffering of animals, which both has a humane rationale as well as helping provide for a higher quality of meat.[1]

Before slaughter, pigs are first rendered unconscious using one of the following means: stunning using electric current applied with electrodes, or stunning usingcaptive bolt pistol, or inhalation of CO2. They are then hoisted on a rail, after which they are exsanguinated, usually via the carotid artery and the jugular vein. After the blood is gone, the carcass is drenched in hot water in a device called a pig scalder which helps in the removal of hair, which is subsequently completed by using scissor-like devices and then if necessary with a torch.

The pig is then eviscerated, the head is usually removed, and the body is cut into two halves. The remaining halves are washed to remove any remaining blood,bacteria or remains of bone, and then cooled down in order to help with the process of cutting and deboning.

In the European Union, the Regulation (EC) of the European Parliament and of the Council No. 852/2004, 853/2004 and 854/2004 cover various aspects of hygiene of foodstuffs that includes pig slaughter.[3][4][5]

European tradition

The process of making a sausage in a traditional Hungarian household

Pig slaughter is a tradition known in numerous European countries: Croatia (see below), Serbia (see below), Hungary (disznóvágás), Poland(świniobicie), the Czech Republic (zabijačka), Slovakia (zabíjačka), GreeceItaly (maialata), MoldovaRomania (tăiatul porcului, Ignat), Slovenia(koline), Portugal (matança), Spain (matanza), Ukraine and others.

The family hog pens have also existed in the United States on small family farms up to and including the early 1900s, but in modern times it’s practically obsolete.

Traditional autumn activity.

The slaughter traditionally takes place in the autumn and early winter, and the timing has several practical considerations. It can start as soon as it gets cold, as the cold is required as a natural method of preserving the relatively large quantities of meat during the butchering. Yet, because people often do the work in the open, it is preferable that the temperatures aren’t too much below freezing during this time, hence the slaughter rarely extends into winter. Also, slaughter activities typically need to produce results before the Christmas season, to provide for the festive cuisine.

In the past, this was also the only time of the year when people could afford to eat larger amounts of meat. In modern times, almost any family in Europe that is so inclined can afford to slaughter, yet there is also an abundance of pre-processed meat in the shops, so the traditional method of slaughtering is becoming more and more of afolk custom rather than a necessity.

The slaughter requires numerous preparations, including troughs, large quantities of boiling water, large wooden barrels for storing meat, pots, sharp knives, and in modern times also artificial intestines (hoses for various sausages).

Historically, butchering was a trade passed from father to son. Today the initial slaughter is normally performed by a professional butcher. After that, the meat is butchered by laymen, and the process is accompanied by various local rituals.

Act of slaughter and the butchering of carcass

Stirring of blood in order to prevent its coagulation. Collected blood will be further used. (Moravia, Czech republic)

Traditionally, the pig is slaughtered with a knife and then put in a wooden or a metal trough and showered with hot water to remove the hair. The pig is then removed from the trough and any remaining hair is removed with a knife or a razor, and then it is again washed with hot water.

Today, the animal is rendered unconscious by electrical or carbon dioxide stunning and then immediately bled by cutting the throat. For quality reasons, mechanical means of stunning such as a captive bolt pistol are not recommended.

Then, the pig’s intestines are removed. These days, the pig can also be obtained as a half (Croatian: polovica or polutka), without intestines or blood.

In modern times, because of the danger of Trichinosis, people in some countries are required to have critical parts of the fresh meat tested by aveterinarian before any further contact with potentially infected meat.

Very sharp knives and a cleaver are required for butchering. The carcass is cut into hams, shoulders, bacon sides, pork bellysham hocks, loins, pork chops, and other cuts of lesser importance.

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Processing of animal parts

After it is cut into pieces, the meat from the animal is then processed further into edible products.

The buttocks are salted and pressed in order to eventually produce ham. The ribcage meat is salted and smoked in order to get bacon. Salt is rubbed thoroughly into each piece of meat and all surfaces are covered. Some formulas also include lots of black pepper. The bulk of the meat is cut and ground to produce various sausages, which are traditionally wrapped into the intestines of various sizes.

Schematic representation of the main pork cuts.

The bulk of the fat is cut into small pieces. Some of it is fried to produce cracklingsLard is made by rendering – heating fragments of fat in a large iron pot over a fire until it is reduced to simmering grease which congeals when cooled. Lard is then stored in lard tins with tin covers. The typical tins in the US are five gallons.

The intestines are stripped by drawing them through a clenched fist. They are then washed, cut into short pieces, and fried to make chitlins.

The various “leftovers” are put into various forms of headcheese jelly, etc. Most parts of the pig are used in this traditional process, even parts of the skin that would normally be thrown away are preserved to be cooked with beans.

The smoke house is essential for the preservation and long term storage of hams, shoulders, bacon sides, and pork bellies. The meat is hung on racks and hooks in the smokehouse; and later smoked. Fragrant hardwood, such as hickorybeech, or cherry is allowed to smolder slowly in a pit below the hanging meat. This gives added flavor and color to the meat as well as serving to dry cure the pork.

Country-specific statistics and customs

Illustration of medieval pig stunning, fromThe Medieval Cookbook

Croatia and Serbia

The traditional pig slaughter in Croatia as well as the neighboring Serbia is a widespread practice that involves pig slaughtering, processing, and butchery of pig meat, and is observed by rural families, usually in late autumn. The tradition is variously called kolinjeprašćinasvinjokoljsvinjokoljaor svinjokolje or posjek. The names literally mean “pig-slaughtering” (svinja=pig, n., klanje=slaughter, n.). It is a custom specific to the parts of the countries in the Pannonian plain.[7]

After WWII, in Yugoslavia, a state holiday fell on November 29, with that and next day being non-working, so most slaughters were held on that occasion.

The entire duration of the slaughter can be as long as three days. Because people were traditionally stocking up on supplies before winter, it became customary to slaughter more than one pig, which increased the amount of time necessary for the meat to be processed. Some families visit their relatives (often grandparents) and friends at that time of the year, in order to help. Also, little mechanization is used, with meat being cut manually. Any grinding is done with relatively small manually operated, mechanical grinding machines.

The traditionally produced ham (šunka), bacon (slanina), the sausages (kobasica) such as blood sausage (krvavica) and kulen are well known as delicacies.[7] Some of them, notably kulen, are classified under the laws of protected designation of origin. The non-meat products such as cracklings (čvarci) or švargl and hladetina are also respected as parts of traditional cuisine.

To complement the activities, rakija or wine is drunk by participants during the butchering.[7]

The pig liver is customarily roasted the same day of the slaughter.

Men and women were traditionally assigned different jobs during the slaughter. It was commonly the men who were doing the actual slaughter, the larger part of butchering, and the grinding of meat. Because the society is traditionally patriarchal, the women were in charge of a relatively menial tasks, such as waiting and cooking for the whole crew throughout the event, keeping the environment clean (washing and scrubbing), as well as the emptying the pigs’ bowels in order to make them suitable for holding sausage meat.

The standard of hygiene long recommended by veterinarians has included various requirements for the people, tools and space used in the process. All people involved in the slaughter and butchering must be healthy, dressed with a hat, apron and boots, and clean hands. The tools (knives, axes, saws etc.) are sharpened, cleaned and disinfected before use, and they should be kept in a clean place throughout the process, preferably in a clean toolbox around the butcher’s belt. The location of the killing needs to be a clean concrete surface with a sewer canal, meaning that the space can be easily cleaned. The trough used should have a zinced surface which is easy to clean and disinfect; the wooden troughs absorb water and microorganisms which makes them unsuitable.

The Croatian Ministry of Agriculture has published rules on sanitation requirements for animal slaughter since 1992, animal waste disposal rules since 2003, while regulations from 2005 also cover animal welfare in relation to slaughter. These rules track the relevant European Union regulation.

Croatian animal rights supporters regard the traditional slaughtering process as cruel and one which causes unnecessary suffering. The most vocal Croatian animal rights NGO “Prijatelji životinja” advocates banning the entire practice.

In the process of Croatia’s entry into the EU, there were widespread fears that new legislation would make svinjokolja as such illegal, forcing all pig slaughter to be conducted in controlled, inspected facilities.[11] The fears were unwarranted because new regulation focused on stopping distribution of unhealthy meat products on the open market, rather than the traditional process where meat is consumed within the same household.

Czech Republic

Jitrnice, traditional part of the Czech national cuisine.

In some countries traditional pig slaughter is a special event. Pig slaughter in the Czech Republic has usually taken place during the winter months, when low temperatures make it easier to store fresh meat and meat products. Preparations for the event extended over a number of days and involved a variety of ceremonies. The event itself was accompanied by the making of traditional dishes such as jitrnicetlačenka and škvarky. After the slaughter, the young men of the village would visit neighbours and relatives bringing gifts of meat and fresh soup. The pig slaughter ended with what was called akarmina, a special celebration held in the household where the slaughter had taken place. Invited guests, sometimes dressed in masks, would join in the feasting and drinking.[13] In the past, the traditional pig slaughters usually ended on Ash Wednesday.

Traditional pig slaughters (Zabíjačka) still (2011) take place in public at Mardi Gras celebrations in many Czech towns and villages.[14][15] However the domestic pig slaughter is a disappearing tradition.[citation needed] During the communist era it was cheaper and people preferred to raise and slaughter pigs at home. Many Czech and Moravian villagers worked in JZD (collective farms) and it was easier for them to obtain the foodstuffs needed to fatten a pig.[14]Since then pig raising and slaughtering has become less common in Czech villages and towns. It is also subject to regulation by the European Union. In 2009, the Czech politician and Member of the European Parliament Jan Březina commented that: “The discovery that in Romania the animals are not paralyzed before slaughter provoked a hysterical reaction on the part of the European institutions. The older member states have begun calling for more stringent European regulation. The result is a textbook example of pointless EU legislation destroying yet another aspect of national tradition.”[16]

The traditional domestic pig slaughter was a favourite theme of the renowned Czech painter Josef Lada.[13] In the play Prase (The Pig, 1987), Václav Havel tries to buy a pig for a zabíjačka by local villagers, with difficulty because as a dissident he is considered politically suspect.[17][18] In 1968, Jiří Šebánek, a founder of the Jára Cimrman Theatre, wrote the play The Pig Slaughter at Home. Toilet Horror.


In Slovakia, the pig slaughter (zabíjačkazakáľačkabravčovinasvinský karkarmina) was an essential part of the winter traditions from early medieval times.[20] The pig slaughter was considered an important event in village society and an opportunity for families to get together. According to Katarína Nádaská of the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology atComenius University in Bratislava, the traditional period for pig slaughters usually started on 21 December, the feast day of St. Thomas. There was a special magical importance attached to the date and farmers believed that the meat of a pig slaughtered on St. Thomas Day would last longer.[20] A second traditional pig slaughtering period began around Mardi Gras.

In the past there were a number of traditional customs associated with the pig slaughter. After the slaughter, the girls of the household would collect the bones and scatter them around the yard for love magic purposes. They believed that when a dog snatched the first bone, the girl who had thrown the bone would be the first one to marry.[20]

Pork is the culinary name for meat from the domestic pig (Sus domesticus). It is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide,[1] with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC.

Pork is eaten both freshly cooked and preserved. Curing extends the shelf life of the pork products. Hamssmoked porkgammonbaconand sausage are examples of preserved pork. Charcuterie is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, many from pork.

Fresh pork may contain TrichinosisUSDA recommends cooking ground pork to an internal temperature of 160°F, followed by a 3 minute rest, and cooking whole cuts to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F, also followed by a 3 minute rest


See also: Charcuterie

The pig is one of the oldest forms of livestock, having been domesticated as early as 5000 BC.[2] It is believed to have been domesticated either in the Near East or in China from the wild boar. The adaptable nature and omnivorous diet of this creature allowed early humans to domesticate it much earlier than many other forms of livestock, such as cattlePigs were mostly used for food, but people also used their hides for shields and shoes, their bones for tools and weapons, and their bristles for brushes. Pigs have other roles within the human economy: their feeding behaviour in searching for roots churns up the ground and makes it easier to plough; their sensitive noses lead them to truffles, an underground fungus highly valued by humans; and their omnivorous nature enables them to eat human rubbish, keeping settlements cleaner.

Charcuterie is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products such as baconhamsausageterrinesgalantinespâtés, and confit, primarily from pork.[3] Originally intended as a way to preserve meats before the advent of refrigeration, these preparations are prepared today for the flavours that are derived from the preservation processes.[4] In 15th century France, local guildsregulated tradesmen in the food production industry in each city. The guilds that produced charcuterie were those of the charcutiers. The members of this guild produced a traditional range of cooked or salted and dried meats, which varied, sometimes distinctively, from region to region. The only “raw” meat the charcutiers were allowed to sell was unrendered lard. The charcutierprepared numerous items, including pâtésrillettessausagesbacontrotters, and head cheese.

Before the mass production and re-engineering of pork in the 20th century, pork in Europe and North America was traditionally an autumn dish — pigs and other livestock coming to the slaughter in the autumn after growing in the spring and fattening during the summer. Due to the seasonal nature of the meat in Western culinary history, apples (harvested in late summer and autumn) have been a staple pairing to fresh pork. The year-round availability of meat and fruits has not diminished the popularity of this combination on Western plates.

Consumption patterns

A traditional Austrian pork dish, served with potato croquettesvegetables,mushrooms and gravy

Pork is one of the most widely eaten meats in the world, accounting for about 38% of meat production worldwide, although consumption varies widely from place to place.

According to the USDA‘s Foreign Agricultural Service, nearly 100 million metric tons of pork were consumed worldwide in 2006 (preliminary data). Increasing urbanization and disposable income has led to a rapid rise in pork consumption in China, where 2006 consumption was 20% higher than in 2002, and a further 5% increase projected in 2007.

2006 worldwide pork consumption

Pork rolls in Sun Yat-sen Street inKolkata

Rank Region Metric tons (millions) Per capita (kg)
2 EU25 20.1 43.9
4 Russia 2.6 18.1
5 Japan 2.5 19.8
  Others 12.2 N/A
  Total 98.9 N/A
Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, preliminary data for 2006.

Asian pork consumption

Pork is popular throughout eastern Asia and the Pacific, where whole roast pig is a popular item in Pacific Island cuisine. It is consumed in a great many ways and highly esteemed in Chinese cuisine.[7] There, pork is preferred over beef for economic and aesthetic reasons; the pig is easy to feed and is not used for labour. The colours of the meat and the fat of pork are regarded as more appetizing, while the taste and smell are described as sweeter and cleaner. It is also considered easier to digest. In rural tradition, pork is shared to celebrate important occasion and to form bonding. In China, pork is so important that the nation maintains a “strategic pork reserve”.

Pork products

Smoked pork ribs

Pork may be cooked from fresh meat or cured over time. Cured meat products include ham and bacon. The carcass may be used in many different ways for fresh meat cuts, with the popularity of certain cuts and certain carcass proportions varying worldwide.

Fresh meat

Most of the carcass can be used to produce fresh meat and in the case of a suckling pig, the whole body of a young pig ranging in age from two to six weeks is roasted. Danish roast pork or flæskesteg, prepared with crispy crackling is a national favourite as the traditional Christmas dinner.

Processed por

Pork is particularly common as an ingredient in sausages. Many traditional European sausages are made with pork, including chorizofuet,Cumberland sausage and salami. Many brands of American hot dogs and most breakfast sausages are made from pork. Processing of pork into sausages and other products in France is described as charcuterie.

Ham and bacon are made from fresh pork by curing with salt (pickling) and/or smoking. Shoulders and legs are most commonly cured in this manner for Picnic shoulder and ham, whereas streaky and round bacon come from the side (round from the loin and streaky from the belly).

Roasted pork knuckle

Ham and bacon are popular foods in the west, and their consumption has increased with industrialisation. Non-western cuisines also use preserved meat products. For example, salted preserved pork or red roasted pork is used in Chinese and Asian cuisine.

Bacon is defined as any of certain cuts of meat taken from the sides, belly or back that have been cured and/or smoked. In continental Europe, it is used primarily in cubes (lardons) as a cooking ingredient valued both as a source of fat and for its flavour. In Italy, besides being used in cooking, bacon (pancetta) is also served uncooked and thinly sliced as part of an antipasto. Bacon is also used for barding roasts, especially game birds. Bacon is often smoked, using various types of wood, a process which can take up to ten hours. Bacon may be eaten fried, baked, or grilled.

A side of unsliced bacon is a “flitch” or “slab bacon”, while an individual slice of bacon is a “rasher” (Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom) or simply a “slice” or “strip” (North America). Slices of bacon are also known as “collops“. Traditionally, the skin is left on the cut and is known as “bacon rind”. Rindless bacon, however, is quite common. In both Ireland and the United Kingdom, bacon comes in a wide variety of cuts and flavours, and is predominantly known as “streaky bacon”, or “streaky rashers”. Bacon made from the meat on the back of the pig is referred to as “back bacon” and is part of traditional full breakfast commonly eaten in Britain and Ireland. In the United States, back bacon may also be referred to as “Canadian-style Bacon” or “Canadian Bacon”.[12]

The USDA defines bacon as “the cured belly of a swine carcass”, while other cuts and characteristics must be separately qualified (e.g. “smoked pork loin bacon”). “USDA Certified” bacon means that it has been treated for Trichinella.

The canned meat Spam is made of chopped pork shoulder meat and ham.


The pig is well known for being able to be used from nose-to-tail. There are different systems of naming for cuts in America, Britain and France.



British cuts of pork

American cuts of pork
  • Head – This can be used to make brawn, stocks and soups. After boiling, the ears can be fried or baked and eaten separately.
  • Spare rib roast/spare rib joint/blade shoulder/shoulder butt – This is the shoulder and contains the shoulder blade. It can be boned out and rolled up as a roasting joint, or cured as “collar bacon”. It is not to be confused with the rack of spare ribs from the front belly. Pork butt, despite its name, is from the upper part of the shoulder. The Boston butt, or Boston-style shoulder, cut comes from this area, and may contain the shoulder blade.
  • Hand/arm shoulder/arm picnic[12] – This can be cured on the bone to make a ham-like product, or used in sausages.
  • Loin – This can be cured to give back bacon or Canadian-style bacon. The loin and belly can be cured together to give a side of bacon. The loin can also be divided up into roasts (blade loin roasts, centre loin roasts, and sirloin roasts come from the front, centre, or rear of the loin), back ribs (also called baby back ribs, or riblets), pork cutlets, and pork chops. A pork loin crown roast is arranged into a circle, either boneless or with rib bones protruding upward as points in a crown. Pork tenderloin, removed from the loin, should be practically free of fat.
  • Fatback – The subcutaneous fat and skin on the back are used to make pork rinds, a variety of cured “meats”, lardons, and lard.
  • Belly/side/side pork – The belly, although a fattier meat, can be used for steaks or diced stir-fry meat. Belly pork may be rolled for roasting or cut for streaky bacon.
  • Legs/hams – Although any cut of pork can be cured, technically speaking only the back leg is entitled to be called a ham. Legs and shoulders, when used fresh, are usually cut bone-in for roasting, or leg steaks can be cut from the bone. Three common cuts of the leg include the rump (upper portion), centre, and shank (lower portion).
  • Trotters – Both the front and hind trotters can be cooked and eaten, as can the tail.[15]
  • Spare ribs, or spareribs, are taken from the pig’s ribs and the meat surrounding the bones. St. Louis-style spareribs have the sternum, cartilage, and skirt meat removed.
  • Knuckles, intestines, jowls and all other parts of the pig may also be eaten.

Feijoada, the national dish of Brazil (also served in Portugal), is prepared with pork trimmings: ears, tail and feet.


Pork, fresh, loin, whole,
separable lean and fat,
cooked, broiled
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,013 kJ (242 kcal)
Carbohydrates 0.00 g
– Sugars 0.00 g
– Dietary fibre 0.0 g
Fat 13.92 g
– saturated 5.230 g
– monounsaturated 6.190 g
– polyunsaturated 1.200 g
Protein 27.32 g
– Tryptophan 0.338 g
– Threonine 1.234 g
– Isoleucine 1.260 g
– Leucine 2.177 g
– Lysine 2.446 g
– Methionine 0.712 g
– Cystine 0.344 g
– Phenylalanine 1.086 g
– Tyrosine 0.936 g
– Valine 1.473 g
– Arginine 1.723 g
– Histidine 1.067 g
– Alanine 1.603 g
– Aspartic acid 2.512 g
– Glutamic acid 4.215 g
– Glycine 1.409 g
– Proline 1.158 g
– Serine 1.128 g
Water 57.87 g
Vitamin B6 0.464 mg (36%)
Vitamin B12 0.70 μg (29%)
Choline 93.9 mg (19%)
Vitamin C 0.6 mg (1%)
Vitamin D 53 IU (9%)
Calcium 19 mg (2%)
Iron 0.87 mg (7%)
Magnesium 28 mg (8%)
Phosphorus 246 mg (35%)
Potassium 423 mg (9%)
Sodium 62 mg (4%)
Zinc 2.39 mg (25%)
Percentages are roughly approximated
using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Its myoglobin content is lower than that of beef, but much higher than that of chicken. The USDA treats pork as a red meat.[17] Pork is very high inthiamin (vitamin B1). Pork with its fat trimmed is leaner than the meat of most domesticated animals, but is high in cholesterol and saturated fat.

In 1987 the U.S. National Pork Board began an advertising campaign to position pork as “the other white meat” — due to a public perception of chicken and turkey (white meat) as healthier than red meat. The campaign was highly successful and resulted in 87% of consumers identifying pork with the slogan. The board retired the slogan on March 4, 2011.

Religious restrict

Eating of pork is prohibited by orthodox Jewish dietary laws and Islamic dietary laws, and is also avoided by mainstream Seventh-day Adventists,Rastafarians, and members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It is considered unclean by some adherents of Hinduism, but the (disputed) Scottish pork taboo disappeared by 1800.


Pork is a well-known example of a non-kosher food. This prohibition is based on Leviticus chapter 11 and Deuteronomy chapter 14:

These are the creatures that you may eat from among all the animals that are upon the land. Everything that possesses a split hoof, which is fully cloven, and that brings up its cud – this you may eat. But this is what you shall not eat from what brings up its cud or possesses split hooves – the camel, because it brings up its cud but does not possess split hooves…and the pig, because it has split hooves that are completely cloven, but it does not bring up its cud – it is impure to you and from its flesh you may not eat. — Leviticus 11:2–4, 7–8
And the pig, because it possesses split hooves and does not bring up its cud — from its flesh you may not eat. — Deuteronomy 14:8

As indicated by the Torah verses, pork is non-kosher because Jews may not consume an animal that possesses one trait but not the other of cloven hooves and regurgitating cud. Hogs, which are not ruminants, do not chew cud as cattle and sheep do.

In Israel pig-raising has been limited by law to certain areas and institutions. Some pig-related laws are openly circumvented. Swine production has increased from an estimated annual slaughter of 50,000 swine in 1960 to 180,000 in 2010. Pigmeat consumption per capita was 2.7 kg in 2009. Although pork marketing is prohibited in some religious localities, pork products are available elsewhere at non-kosher butchers and by the Mizra and Tiv Ta’am non-kosher supermarket chain which caters to Russian immigrants. A modern Hebrew euphemism for pork is “white meat”.


Pork is prohibited by the Islamic dietary laws. Throughout the Islamic world many countries severely restrict the importation or consumption of pork products. Examples are IranMauritaniaOmanQatarSaudi ArabiaKuwaitPakistan and Maldives. However, in other Muslim countries such as EgyptTurkeyMalaysia and parts of the UAE such as Dubai, pork is available in international hotels and some supermarkets that cater for expatriates and non-Muslims. [31]

The Qur’anic basis for the Islamic prohibition of pork can be found in suras 2:173, 5:3, 5:60, 6:145 and 16:115.

Chapter (Sura) 2 – Verse (Ayat) 173 Al-Baqara (The Cow)

He has forbidden you only the Maitah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah. But if one is forced by necessity, without wilful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him. Truly, Allah is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful.

Disease in pork

Pork is known to carry some diseases such as pork tapeworm and trichinosis, thus uncooked or undercooked pork can be dangerous to consume.

Undercooked or untreated pork may harbour pathogens, or can be recontaminated after cooking if left exposed for a long period of time. In one instance, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) detected Listeria monocytogenes in 460 lbs of Polidori brand fully cooked pork sausage crumbles, although no one was made ill from consumption of the product. The FSIS has previously stated Listeria and other microorganisms will be “destroyed by proper handling and thorough cooking to an internal temperature of 160 °F (71 °C)” and that other microorganisms, such as E. coli,Salmonella, and Staphylococcus aureus can be found in inadequately cooked pork, poultry, and other meats. The FSIS, a part of the USDA, currently recommends cooking ground pork to160 °F (71 °C) and whole cuts to 145 °F (63 °C) followed by a 3-minute rest.

Pigs can be carriers of various helminths, such as roundwormspinwormshookworms. One of the more common is Taenia solium, a type of tapeworm, which may transplant to the intestines of humans after consuming undercooked meat.

Although not a common cause of illness, Yersinia enterocolitica – which causes gastroenteritis – is present in various foods, but is most frequently caused by eating uncooked or undercooked pork and can grow in refrigerated conditions. The bacteria can be killed by heat. Nearly all outbreaks in the US have been traced to pork.

Pork may be the reservoir responsible for sporadic, locally acquired cases of acute hepatitis E (HEV) reported in regions with relatively mild climates. It has been found to transmit between swine and humans.


Vacuum packed pork loin fillets

Trichinosis, also called trichinellosis, or trichiniasis, is a parasitic disease caused by eating raw or undercooked pork infected with the larvae of a species of roundworm Trichinella spiralis, commonly called the trichina worm. Infection was once very common, but is now rare in the developed world. From 2002 to 2007, an annual average of 11 cases per year were reported in the United States; the majority were from consuming wild game or the source was unknown. The number of cases has decreased because of legislation prohibiting the feeding of raw meat garbage to hogs, increased commercial and home freezing of pork, and the public awareness of the danger of eating raw or undercooked pork or wild game products.