Volume 59, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


An outbreak of 538 cases of trichinellosis occurred in France in December 1993. Seven cases developed neurotrichinosis and 23 had cardiologic complications. No deaths were recorded. Two patients had a positive muscle biopsy showing living Trichinella larvae. One of them was typed as Trichinella spiralis. A case-control study showed that horse meat was the only meat associated with illness (odds ratio = 80.7). The risk of illness increased with the amount of horse meat eaten and when it was consumed raw. The cases, which were spread out in five foci, bought horse meat from five butchers who had received parts of a single horse carcass imported in November 1993 from Canada. The Trichinella International Screening Program, implemented since 1985 after two similar episodes involving a thousand cases, failed to detect the incriminated horse carcass. This new horse meat-related outbreak led to modifications of the internationally recommended screening methods whereby the weight of meat samples tested was increased.


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