Trichinella is a parasitic nematode worm that can cause disease (so-called trichinellosis) in people eating raw or undercooked meat from Trichinella-infected domestic animals or game. The parasite may infect pigs, horses, wild boar, foxes, wolves, bears, skunks, raccoons, rats and other mammals including sea mammals and carnivore birds.
EU legislation establishes special rules for the control of trichinellosis including the requirement for systematic tests for Trichinella in all slaughtered pigs, wild boar and horses, except in pigs from holdings or compartments officially recognised as applying controlled housing conditions.
Regulation (EU) No 2015/1375 lays down specific rules on official controls for Trichinella,
Guidance on analytical methods can be found on the website of the EU Reference Laboratory for Parasites. The most important guidelines are:
- Guidelines on the detection of Trichinella larvae at the slaughterhouse or laboratory
- Guidelines - Sampling methods for monitoring Trichinella infection
In accordance with Regulation (EU) No 702/2013, laboratories carrying out official Trichinella control might be derogated from accreditation under certain conditions.