Pork is the most consumed meat in the world, according to Oklahoma State University, and has been part of American cuisine since introduced to the New World in 1539 by Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto. Pork is now a staple in most people's diet, and is also used in non-dietary items. Pork allergy sufferers need to be vigilant, not only at the grocery store, but in the pharmacy as well, depending on how severe the allergy.
Meat allergies are fairly rare, but can range from a mere upset stomach to full-blown anaphylactic shock. Avoiding pork meat may be complicated, especially if your beef products are processed on the same line as the pork in the abattoir, or slaughterhouse. Fresh pork meat is usually straight forward and easy to identify. You might want to become familiar with your local butcher, who may be able to ensure your meat has not been contaminated with pork products. The University of Nevada teaching-abbatoir includes such cuts as pork roasts, loin chops, butt roasts and steaks, spareribs, baby back ribs, pork ribs and country-style ribs.
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Cured and Processed Pork
Pork meats are often cured by various methods. Your Easter ham is a cut of pork that comes from the rear leg of the pig, explains the USDA. A ham from the front leg is called a pork shoulder picnic ham. These meats have been put through a curing process involving a salted solution, or a dry-curing rub and left to age, depending on the meat. Cured pork meats include hams, prosciutto, smoked pork or hams, numerous deli meats, such as salamis, bologna, headcheese, pate and sausages, including breakfast, bratwurst, Italian and cheddarwurst. Other meats to watch for are bacon, bacon bits, wieners, hot dogs and Canadian bacon or pea meal bacon. Sausage meat may be sold in bulk, like ground beef, as well.
Gelatin is produced from pork skins and is usually a hidden pork product. You may find it in pork pate, marshmallows, candies, ice cream and jello. Cooking methods used in restaurants may add pork to an unsuspecting dish. Bacon drippings are often added to foods such as salads and grease for frying. Some meats may be breaded, or covered or wrapped in bacon, such as filet mignon and turkey or chicken to add flavor and moisture. Insulin shots have a gelatin base. John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health list vaccines containing pork gelatin to include, but not limited to: rabies, flu, yellow fever, MMR+varicella, HPB, meningococcal and hepatitis A and B.