Worms In Meat: Discover When Its Normal And When Its Not

According to Wikipedia, Worms are many different distantly related bilateral animals that typically have a long cylindrical tube-like body, no limbs, and no eyes.

Meat has been a kitchen staple for many years. People buy and cook meat very thoroughly to get the most out of its nutrients and to avoid any worms in meat. But that’s not always the case, sometimes we eat it without knowing that there are some worms in meat.

How does this happen? How can we avoid it? And what sort of worms or parasites are we eating unknowingly?

Keep reading to find out.


Is It Normal for Meat to Have Worms?

If you’ve ever found a worm in your meat, you may have been grossed out—or even a little bit panicked. But don’t worry, it’s actually quite normal.

There are two main reasons why you might find worms in your meat.

  • The first is that the animal was infested with them when it was alive. This is most likely to happen with wild game, as they are not raised in the same controlled conditions as domestic animals.
  • The second reason is that the worms were introduced during the butchering process. Again, this is more likely to happen with wild games, as they are less likely to be inspected by authorities.
Raw meat placed on a table

If you find a worm in your meat, there are a few things you can do about it. The first is to simply pick it out and discard it. This is probably the easiest option, but if you’re squeamish about touching worms, you can also cut around them.

If you’re still grossed out, you can cook the meat thoroughly—at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit—which will kill any worms that might be present.

What Do Worms Look Like in Hamburger Meat?

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what worms look like in hamburger meat, you’re not alone. It’s a common question and one that has a fairly disturbing answer.

Worms in hamburger meat usually take on one of two forms: they are either long and thin, or short and fat. In either case, they are almost always white.

Worms in hamburger meat are most likely to be parasitic nematodes, which are also known as “roundworms.”

These worms are usually between one and four inches long, and they often have a tapered shape that is wider at the head end than at the tail end. While they can be various shades of white, most nematodes that end up in hamburger meat are pale. 

Fortunately, parasites such as nematodes are not able to survive the cooking process, so if you do end up finding one in your hamburger meat, you can simply remove it and cook the rest of the burger as usual. However, it is always advisable to inspect your meat carefully before cooking it, just to be on the safe side.

What Happens if You Eat Meat That Has Worms in It?

To the average person, finding a worm in their steak would be cause for alarm. After all, worms are gross, and no one wants to think about them while they’re eating.

However, you might be surprised to learn that there’s actually no need to worry. In fact, it’s probably not even harmful to eat meat that contains worms.

The truth is, it’s perfectly safe to eat meat that contains worms. In fact, it’s not even uncommon. It’s estimated that as many as 20% of all fish contain parasites, and some estimates put the figure for pork closer to 50%. The vast majority of these parasites are harmless to humans, and even the ones that can cause illness usually only do so if the meat is not cooked properly. 

So why are there so many worms in our meat? It all has to do with how animals are raised and slaughtered.

For example, pigs often live in close quarters where they can easily contract parasites from each other. Fish can become infected with parasites when they swim in contaminated water. However, these parasites are killed when the meat is cooked properly. 

While it might not be appetizing to find a worm in your steak, there’s no need to worry. In most cases, eating meat that contains worms is harmless. So next time you spot a worm wriggling around in your dinner, don’t panic—just cook it thoroughly and enjoy!

Is Stringy Ground Beef Bad?

You’ve probably noticed it before—when you’re cooking ground beef, sometimes it seems to be full of long, stringy bits.

While it might not look particularly appetizing, stringiness in ground beef is actually nothing to worry about. In fact, those stringy bits are simply pieces of meat that were torn during the grinding process.

So, if stringy ground beef isn’t bad for you, then why does it sometimes look unappetizing? Well, it really comes down to personal preference.

Some people don’t mind the strings, while others find them off-putting. If you’re in the latter camp, there are a few things you can do to avoid or reduce the amount of stringiness in your ground beef. 

  • One option is to simply cook the ground beef for a shorter amount of time. The longer ground beef cooks, the more time the strings have to separate and become noticeable. So, if you’re looking to minimize the strings, aim for a shorter cook time. 
  • Another option is to grind your own beef at home. Store-bought ground beef is usually made from tougher cuts of meat, which are more likely to contain strings. So, if you want smoother, string-free ground beef, grinding your own meat from a tender cut like a chuck roast is your best bet. 

Does All Raw Meat Have Tapeworms?

Tapeworms are parasitic worms that can infect humans and animals. These parasites attach themselves to the lining of the intestines and can grow up to 30 feet long!

Tapeworms are usually transmitted through contaminated food or water, but they can also be acquired through contact with infected animals.

While it is true that tapeworms can be found in raw meat, it is not true that all raw meat contains tapeworms. In fact, the risk of contracting a tapeworm from raw meat is actually quite low.

The majority of tapeworm infections in the United States are caused by eating undercooked pork or beef that has been contaminated with the parasite.

How To Stay Safe From Tapeworms:

The best way to protect yourself from tapeworms (and other foodborne illnesses) is to practice safe food handling and cooking techniques.

Raw meat should always be handled with care and cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any harmful bacteria or parasites.

Can You Cook Parasitic Worms Out of Meat?

Many people believe that it is possible to cook parasitic worms out of meat. This is a common misconception.

While cooking meat will kill the worms, it will not remove them from the meat. If you are concerned about eating meat that contains parasitic worms, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk.

worm in a sliced raw salmon - worms in meat

1. Buy Meat from Trusted Sources

One of the best ways to reduce your risk of consuming meat that contains parasitic worms is to buy your meat from trusted sources. Buy your meat from grocery stores, butcher shops, and restaurants that have a good reputation.

If you are unsure about a particular source, ask around or do some research online.

2. Cook Meat Thoroughly

Another way to reduce your risk of consuming meat that contains parasitic worms is to cook the meat thoroughly.

Cooking the meat will kill the worms but it will not remove them from the meat. Make sure to cook all meats, poultry, and fish to their recommended cooking temperature.

Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat before you consume it.

Why Is There So Much Gristle in My Ground Beef?

The gristle is the tough connective tissue that surrounds and supports muscles. It’s made up of collagen, a protein that gives muscle tissue its strength and elasticity.

When animals are slaughtered for meat, this connective tissue is typically left intact. 

gristly ground or minced beef from low viewpoint up close against white background

So, how does gristle end up in ground beef? The short answer is that it depends on the type of grind being used.

A coarse grind will result in more large pieces of gristle being present, while a finer grind will break the connective tissue down into smaller pieces.

However, even with a fine grind, some gristle will always end up in the mix. 

There’s not much that can be done to avoid gristle in ground beef entirely. However, there are a few steps you can take to minimize your chances of biting into a big piece of it.

  • First, check the labels at the grocery store carefully. Some brands will specifically say “gristle-free” or “low in gristle.”
  • Second, ask your butcher for a leaner cut of meat if you’re doing your own grinding.
  • Finally, cook your ground beef slowly over low heat; this will help break down the collagen and make the meat more tender. 

What Are Muscle Fibers in Meat?

You’ve probably heard the terms “white meat” and “red meat” before, but have you ever wondered what those terms actually refer to? It all has to do with the muscle fibers in meat.

Muscle fibers are long, slender cells that make up the muscles of animals. Depending on the animal, muscle fibers can be either red or white.

1. Red Muscle Fiber

Red muscle fibers are packed full of myoglobin, which is an oxygen-binding protein. This allows red muscle fibers to contract for long periods of time without getting tired.

The type of muscle fiber present in meat affects its taste, texture, and appearance. Red meats, such as beef and lamb, get their name from the fact that they contain high levels of myoglobin, which gives them a reddish color. Red meats are also known for being tender and flavorful.

2. White Muscle Fiber:

White muscle fibers, on the other hand, contain very little myoglobin. As a result, they can’t contract for as long as red muscle fibers can before they get tired. 

White meats, such as chicken and fish, get their name from the fact that they contain very little myoglobin. This gives them a pale color.

White meats are also known for being less tender than red meats but moister. 

What Is Collagen in Meat?

Collagen is a type of protein that exists in animals (including humans) and helps to form various tissues within the body, including tendons, ligaments, and skin. It’s a key component of the connective tissue found throughout the body and plays an important role in providing strength and support to many different areas. 

1. Types of Collagen

There are 28 different types of collagen that have been identified so far, but 80-90% of the collagen in the human body belongs to types I, II, or III.

These different types vary somewhat in their structure and function but all play important roles in keeping the body healthy and functioning properly. 

2. Functions Of Collagen:

Some of the most important functions of collagen include: 

  • Providing structure and support to tendons, ligaments, bones, and skin 
  • Helping to heal wounds 
  • Regulating metabolism 
  • Maintaining gut health 
  • Protecting against infections 

As you can see, collagen is an important protein that plays a vital role in many different areas of health. It’s especially abundant in high-stress areas like joints and ligaments, where it provides much-needed support.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your health, collagen supplements may be a good option to consider.

What Are the Two Kinds of Muscle Fiber in Meat?

When you think of meat, you probably don’t think about the different types of muscle fibers that make it up. But did you know that there are actually two types of muscle fiber in meat?

Those are slow-twitch muscle fibers and fast-twitch muscle fibers.

1. Slow-Twitch Muscle Fibers

Slow-twitch muscle fibers are also called type I muscle fibers. These muscle fibers are responsible for aerobic activities, such as marathon running.

They are able to continuously contract for long periods of time without tiring.

2. Fast-Twitch Muscle Fibers

Fast-twitch muscle fibers are also called type II muscle fibers. These muscle fibers are responsible for explosive activities, such as sprinting. They tire more quickly than slow-twitch muscle fibers but they can produce more power.

Now that you know there are two types of muscle fiber in meat, you can start to understand why different cuts of meat are better for different purposes.

For example, if you’re looking for a cut of meat that will be tender and juicy, you’ll want to look for one with a higher percentage of slow-twitch muscle fiber. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a cut of meat that will be full of flavor, you’ll want to look for one with a higher percentage of fast-twitch muscle fiber.

Knowing the difference between the two types of muscle fiber can help you make more informed choices when you’re buying meat.

Which Part of Beef Has the Most Collagen?

The answer may surprise you: it’s actually not the muscle meat that’s highest in collagen—it’s actually connective tissues like tendons and ligaments.

Organs like the liver and kidney are also great sources of natural gelatinous collagens too!

Beef collagen contains a higher concentration of two key amino acids: glycine and proline.

1. Glycine:

Glycine helps promote healthy skin cell turnover and supports detoxification in the liver.

2. Proline:

Proline, on the other hand, helps keep connective tissues strong—which is especially important as we age.

Beef collagen also contains higher levels of hydroxyproline—an amino acid that’s essential for the production of new collagen fibers—than other types of collagen. So not only does beef collagen provide your body with everything it needs to produce new collagen… but it also contains more precursors to help kickstart that process!

Can Parasitic Worms Survive Cooking?

Many people think that cooking kills all parasites and bacteria. However, this is not always the case. It is true that cooking can kill some parasites, but there are many types of parasitic worms that can survive even after being cooked.

In fact, some parasitic worms actually thrive in cooked food!

There are many different types of parasitic worms, and each one has its own unique set of challenges when it comes to being killed by heat.

Some parasitic worms, such as tapeworms and roundworms, have a protective coating that helps them withstand high temperatures.

Other parasitic worms, such as hookworms and threadworms, burrow into the host’s tissues and are protected from the heat of cooking. 

So, can parasitic worms survive cooking? The answer is yes, but it depends on the type of worm. Some parasitic worms can withstand temperatures as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit, while others will be killed by temperatures as low as 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The only way to know for sure is to consult an expert. 

How Can You Tell if Raw Ground Beef Is Bad?

There are a few ways to tell if raw ground beef has gone bad.

1. Check The Color:

Fresh ground beef is typically a deep red color with some marbling of fat running through it. If the color is more brown than red, or if there is excessive liquid surrounding the meat, it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw it away. 

2. Check The Texture:

Another way to tell if raw ground beef has gone bad is by checking the texture. If the beef feels slimy or tacky, it’s no longer good.

Likewise, if there is any mold growing on the surface of the meat, it should be discarded.

However, keep in mind that a small amount of discoloration around the edges of the ground beef is normal and does not necessarily mean that it has gone bad. 

3. Trust Your Nose:

Finally, trust your nose. If raw ground beef smells sour, fishy, or otherwise unpleasant, it’s time to get rid of it.

When in doubt, throw it out! It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to consuming spoiled meat. 

What Temperature Kills Worms in Meat?

There is no definitive answer to this question as different types of worms have different temperature tolerances.

Some parasitic worms can withstand temperatures as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit, while others will be killed by temperatures as low as 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Does Cooking Meat Kill Tapeworms?

While most people don’t like to think about it, parasites can be found in all kinds of meat – including pork, beef, and chicken. These parasites can cause all sorts of problems for humans, including tapeworms. So, does cooking meat kill tapeworms? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as simple as yes or no.

1. Tapeworms:

Tapeworms are a type of parasitic flatworm that can infect both animals and humans. They typically enter the body through contaminated food or water, and sometimes through contact with infected animals.

Once they’re in the body, they attach themselves to the intestines and feed off of their host’s blood. This can lead to all sorts of problems, including severe anemia, malnutrition, and weight loss. In some cases, tapeworms can also cause death. 

2. How to Kill Them:

While cooking meat will kill most bacteria and viruses, it, unfortunately, doesn’t have the same effect on tapeworms.

This is because tapeworms aren’t killed by heat; they’re killed by freezing or chemicals. That means that even if you cook your meat thoroughly, there’s still a chance that tapeworms could be present.

The only way to be absolutely sure that your meat is free of tapeworms is to freeze it for 24 hours at -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) or heat it to 55 degrees Celsius (131 degrees Fahrenheit) for three minutes. 

What Foods Usually Have Tapeworms?

Most people know that tapeworms are parasites that can live in the intestines of both animals and humans. What many people don’t know is that there are certain foods that tapeworms just love! If you’re wondering what foods you should avoid if you don’t want to end up with a tapeworm, read on.

1. Raw or Undercooked Pork

One of the most common ways that humans end up with tapeworms is by eating raw or undercooked pork. Tapeworm eggs can live in the muscle tissue of pigs, and when those pigs are slaughtered and their meat is not cooked properly, those tapeworm eggs can end up on your plate.

To avoid getting a tapeworm, make sure that any pork you eat is cooked thoroughly.

2. Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables

Another way that humans can end up with tapeworms is by eating unwashed fruits and vegetables. If the soil where those fruits and vegetables were grown is contaminated with feces (which may contain tapeworm eggs), then those tapeworm eggs can end up on your food.

So, be sure to wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them.

3. Fish from Contaminated Water

Tapeworms can also contaminate fish if those fish swim in water that contains infected feces. If you eat fish that has been contaminated with tapeworms, you will likely end up with a tapeworm yourself.

The best way to avoid this is to only eat fish that has been properly cooked -tapeworms cannot survive in high temperatures. 


While many people believe that it is possible to cook parasitic worms out of meat, this is not the case. Cooking meat will kill the worms but it will not remove them from the meat. If you are concerned about consuming meat that contains parasitic worms, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk.

Buy your meat from trusted sources and cook all meats, poultry, and fish to their recommended cooking temperature. Using these precautions will help you avoid consuming parasitic worms.

There are a few different ways that humans can end up with tapeworms, but some are more common than others. To avoid getting a tapeworm, make sure you only eat thoroughly cooked pork, wash all fruits and vegetables before eating them, and only eat fish that has been properly cooked. By following these simple guidelines, you can help keep yourself tapeworm-free!

Now that you know a bit about muscle fibers in meat, you can better understand why different types of meat taste and look the way they do.

The next time you’re at the grocery store or out to eat, take a moment to think about the difference between white meat and red meat—you might just be surprised at how much you already know!

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About the author

Natalie is a food enthusiast who spends all of her time trying out new recipes, testing out new appliances, and making her kitchen as awesome as possible. She is a professional writer and blogs here about her love of food & kitchen.

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