Pig meat safety and eating quality

High standards of pig health and welfare throughout production help to protect food safety and public health. Maintaining these standards, along with traceability, helps to build trust in pig meat products. 

This page features a wealth of information about meat safety and eating quality, from preventing zoonosis, to avoiding boar taint.

Meat safety


Salmonella is a group of bacteria widespread within the human and animal populations. It multiplies within the intestine and causes enteric disease.

Find out how it spreads, how to spot the symptoms and reduce the risk by using the link below.

Salmonella in pigs

Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E is a viral liver disease of humans which can be carried by pigs and other animals. Studies have demonstrated a potential link between pigs and human cases of HEV, but this is thought to be of low risk to human health.

Hepatitis E in pigs


Trichinella spiralis is a parasitic (nematode) worm which can infect a wide range of mammals, including humans. There have been no human cases acquired from meat produced in the UK for over 30 years, however, trichinella testing is a legal requirement for breeding herds. 

Trichinella in pig herds

Export health certificate (EHC)

From 1 January 2021, every consignment of pork leaving a UK abattoir bound for the EU has to be signed off by an Official Vet (OV) as meeting all of the conditions laid out in the Export Health Certificate (EHC). Find out what this means for you.

Export health certificate

Eating quality

Boar taint is an odour or flavour, offensive to some people, which may be evident during the cooking or eating of pork or pork products. Find out why high levels of skatole and/or androstenone can taint the meat, and what can be done to avoid it.

Boar taint

Meat inspection

The main purpose of meat inspection is to assure consumers about the safety, hygiene and nutritional value of their food.

Meat inspection