An artistic depiction of a family reunion in a rustic outdoor setting, with members grilling and sharing bear meat kebabs, while a transparent overlay shows magnified images of roundworms, symbolizing

Family reunion kebabs made from bear meat cause unusual roundworm disease outbreak – NBC Connecticut

Overview of the Incident

A recent unusual health incident occurred in Connecticut where a family reunion featuring kebabs made from bear meat led to an outbreak of a rare roundworm disease. The incident has sparked concerns over food safety practices related to wild game.

Details of the Family Reunion

The event, which took place last month, was a gathering of a large extended family who opted for a unique menu item: kebabs crafted from bear meat. The meat was reportedly hunted by a family member who had not encountered any problems with bear hunting in the past. Unfortunately, this time, the bear meat was contaminated with roundworms, specifically Trichinella spiralis, leading to trichinellosis among those who consumed the kebabs.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Soon after the reunion, multiple family members began experiencing severe symptoms, including muscle soreness, fever, swelling, and gastrointestinal distress. After several members were hospitalized, health officials were alerted, and an investigation was initiated. Diagnostic tests confirmed the presence of Trichinella parasites, conclusively linking the outbreak to the bear meat consumed at the gathering.

Understanding Trichinellosis

Trichinellosis, also known as trichinosis, is a disease caused by eating raw or undercooked meat infected with Trichinella roundworms. The infection can result in severe symptoms and, in extreme cases, can be fatal if not treated properly. The disease is often associated with wild game or pork not cooked to safe internal temperatures.

Routes of Transmission and Prevention

Trichinella roundworms can be found in various carnivorous and omnivorous animals, but are most commonly transmitted to humans through undercooked wild game or pork products. To prevent trichinellosis, health experts recommend cooking meat to an internal temperature of 160°F and taking caution when handling and preparing meat.

Response and Recommendations

The local health department, upon confirming the diagnosis, informed the public about the risks of consuming undercooked or raw wild game. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reiterated guidelines for cooking and handling meat derived from wild animals.

Advice for Cooking Wild Game Safely

The CDC recommends that all game meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160°F. The use of a food thermometer is crucial in ensuring that the meat has reached a safety threshold that will kill any Trichinella larvae present. Furthermore, wearing gloves when handling raw meat and freezing meat for three to four weeks before consumption can also help in killing roundworm larvae.


This incident at the family reunion in Connecticut serves as a reminder of the health risks associated with consuming improperly prepared wild game. It highlights the need for increased awareness and education regarding the safe handling, preparation, and consumption of wild animal meats to prevent future outbreaks of diseases like trichinelosis.


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