I've avoided pork for years because I've memories of eating tough as old shoe leather grey pork chops when I was younger.
I was recently served pan fried pork medallions by a friend that were slightly pink in the middle. Some of the tastiest tenderest bits of meat I've had in a while.
I was assured this is perfectly safe to eat. I'd love to make some of these cooked this way again as pork fillet is very good value but is it safe?
Totally safe, the only significant danger comes from ground meat (sausages, burgers etc). Pork fillet is lovely when pink in the centre. Highly under-rated cut of meat. Can't understand why people in Ireland usually flatten it out and wrap it around bread stuffing.
It was a long-held belief that pork that was still pink could contain trichinosis, so Food Safety Authorities advised it to be cooked completely through. However, in the last year or so, they have admitted that this was unnecessary and, in the USA at least, have lowered the temperature for cooking pork to 62 degrees C. We haven't quite followed suit over here yet, but if the FDA says pink pork is okay, I'd be inclined to believe them.
Here in Switzerland I've regularly been served pork that has been cooked medium. I queried it the first time but was told "That's how we do it here."
As they are all still alive & kicking I'm ok with it now. However, when I cook it myself I generally still cook it thoroughly. Old habits & all that...
Like tHB, I'd gladly (and prefer to0 eat pork medium.
But I wouldn't have it med-rare.
It's perfect if it's still a little pink in the midle.
As faith mentioned it was to do with trichinosis. A parasite found in pigs.
Eating raw meat from pigs that have the parasite is dangerous. So it was hammered home that you can't ahve white meat raw. That was probably for the bet in the past, as you had no idea where the meat came from, what it was fed etc. In hard time, any old crap was fed to the pigs (apparently trichinosis is an issue for animals fed meat/offal etc).
But these days, standard are higher, meat is tracable etc. Testing is higher. I tend not to do it myself too much, but if a nice restaurants recomends that a pork fillet is served medium, i'd let them.
I did a quick google on trichinosis in Ireland and it seems it is rare in humans. People who did get it got it abroad or after eating game.
That said traceability on pork is not as good as beef in this country.