Pest Control

Little White Worms In Ground Beef ( What Are They? )

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I found these little white worms in the ground beef one day. Those little white worms in ground beef are a tapeworm species known as Taenia saginataThey in fact cause a parasitic infection called taeniasis in humans. You may also know them as beef tapeworms in common. 

Not only Taenia saginata there are other species of tape worms such as Taenia solium, Taenia asiatica etc. and you may become victims of these parasitic worms if you eat raw beef. So let me share some important fact I found out about these monstrous creatures in this article.

Here we go!

Little White Worms In Ground Beef

What happens if you eat meat that has worms in it?

If you happen to eat a meat which has worms in it, chances are that the acid in the stomach could dissolve the hard covering of the cyst of the infective parasite  larvae and then release the worms. Within one- or two-days’ time, the worms could pass into the small intestines and mature.

Once they complete mating, the adult females will lay eggs. Next, they will transform into immature worms. They could move through your arteries to muscles as well. The worms can curl into a ball in the muscles and encyst too. Once another human eats these contaminated meat, their life cycle would continue to repeat.

What is Taenia saginata / tapeworm?

Taenia saginata is commonly called beef tapeworms and they belong to order Cyclophyllidea and to the genus called taenia. These are intestinal parasites. Usually, cattle will be more like intermediate hosts for the larvae of these parasites. On the other hand, humans will be more like hosts which could harbor adult worms.

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Taenia saginata usually have a significant resemblance to the rest of other humans’ tapeworms. For example, they would take the same structure and the same biology as the Taenia asiatica and Taenia solium. However, these are somewhat larger and longer and would carry proglottids. 

Additionally, Taenia saginata would consist of more  testes and higher branching of the uterus as well. They do not carry any armed scolex where the rest of other tapeworms will have them. Taenia saginata would cause taeniasis. However, they would not result in cysticercosis though.

In simple words, Taeniasis is a parasitic infection which you could find among humans. There are different kinds of  tapeworms such as Taenia saginata, Taenia solium and Taenia asiatica which cause this condition. Humans may suffer from this condition if they happen to eat contaminated meat items.

There is a high potential to have this condition if you eat raw meat or meat items which are not properly cooked. Further humans may not even notice that they are going through this condition as there will be mild symptoms of this condition. 

Further chances are that they may become nonexistent too. Having said that, T. Solium tapeworms may result in cysticercosis. It is a disease which could cause seizures. Best is to go for treatment in that circumstance.

Tapeworm life cycle.

As mentioned in the above, tapeworms’ eggs will be  passed with feces and those can stay in the environment for months. Once the cattle and pigs eat the contaminated vegetation , they would get infected with them. Next the oncosphere hatch in the animal’s intestine and end up attacking the intestinal wall as well. Further they would move to the striated muscles too.

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There the development of the cysticerci would take place. The cystceriys can stay alive in animals for several years. In the meantime, when the humans end up eating this meat uncooked or raw, they would become infected as well.

Once they reach the human intestine, the cysticerus would become an adult tapeworm in two months’ time. In fact, they can survive for a number of years. Usually,  they would stay enclosed in the small intestine by their scolex and reside there.

Little White Worms In Ground Beef

How tapeworm get in to your body

Tapeworms can reach your body if you happen to eat them raw or uncooked. You could commonly spot this among the people who live closer to cattle and in places where there  is less hygiene. Once they get into your body , they may reach  the tissues and organs as well. Hence you can call this an invasive infection.

How to avoid white worms in ground beef infecting humans ?

Best thing is to cook the meat at safe temperatures and then consume. If you wish to ascertain the temperature you could  use a food thermometer and check the internal temperature of the cooked meat. Do not taste it until you cook it properly.  Best recommended way of cooking meat is as follows.

If you have whole cuts of meat ( Excluding poultry)  you need to cook them at a temperature of 145° F (63° C). Next allow it to cool for three minutes and then consume. If you have ground meat ( excluding poultry), best is to cook them at a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit ( 71 degrees Celsius). They usually do not need a rest time and you may eat them as you wish.

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What are the white strings in ground beef?

Those white strings look like worms but those are connective tissues in the beef muscle. Those white strings are not harmful to eat. 

Credit to : Brew

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I'm Dr. Chamika and I'm a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. Our highly qualified team is trying to educate you in various aspects of the day to day life in many ways. Their mission is to help others to enjoy their life to the fullest.