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Sara Swann
By Sara Swann April 7, 2023

Does pouring soda on raw pork reveal parasites? Don’t believe this myth

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  • Pouring soda on raw pork will not cause parasites to emerge.

  • Trichinella parasites found in raw or undercooked meat are microscopic and cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Soda has many household cleaning uses, but can it also reveal hidden parasites in raw meat, as social media posts claim? Don’t let this myth worm its way into your culinary practices.

An April 4 Facebook reel labeled, "When the parasite crawls out," shows a woman pouring Pepsi over raw pork, after which what appears to be white worms emerge from the meat.

"You have to cook pork so carefully because of this issue," the woman in the video said. "You can actually see them, the heads of them popping through. It’s so gross. You can see them starting to crawl their way out."

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

The claim that Pepsi or Coca-Cola can cause parasites to emerge from pork is a years-old myth that has been debunked by multiple news outlets.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, trichinella parasites — a type of roundworm commonly found in pigs — are microscopic and invisible to the naked eye. It’s not trichinella in the video, but the footage is poor quality so it is difficult to say with certainty what is visible.

Consuming raw or undercooked meat from animals infected with trichinella can cause trichinellosis, also called trichinosis, a parasitic disease. However, trichinellosis is rare in the United States. Just 16 cases on average were reported each year from 2011 to 2015, per the CDC.

The disease used to be more common, but the number of cases has decreased since the mid-20th century. According to the CDC, that’s because of legislation prohibiting the feeding of raw-meat garbage to hogs, commercial and home freezing of pork, and public awareness of the dangers of eating raw or undercooked pork products.

The best ways to prevent trichinellosis, the CDC says, is to cook meat to safe temperatures and freeze pork less than 6 inches thick for 20 days at 5 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any worms.

We rate the claim that pouring Pepsi on raw pork causes parasites to emerge Pants on Fire!

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Does pouring soda on raw pork reveal parasites? Don’t believe this myth

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