Recently on a Facebook group, Farm Direct Minnesota, a thread was started after a woman posted a picture of some ham she had purchased. The woman was asking if A. she should be concerned by what appeared to be blood spots on and in her ham, and B. if the ham was still safe to consume. These are both great questions, as more and more people are getting food direct from farmers. So let's answer those questions, what are the spots, and is the food safe to eat. By the way, the answer about eating the ham is yes it's still safe to consume.

Image Credit Farm Direct Minnesota via Facebook
Image Credit Farm Direct Minnesota via Facebook

So let's start off with what are those red spots that are all over the ham? According to

The red spots that you are seeing in a slice of pork might be what is called petechial hemorrhaging. This can be caused by the mishandling of the pig prior to slaughter or by accidental bruising during shipping or unloading. These little spots do not pose a threat if eaten.

Another word for what you are seeing in the meat processing circles is Ecchymosis. Ecchymosis "or blood splash, is an escape of red blood cells from blood vessels into the surrounding muscle" according to Meat and Livestock Australia. 

As you read from above there isn't any concern in general about eating ham with spots, it just doesn't look very appetizing. Just make sure, as with all pork products you might be eating this Easter that the internal temperature hits 160* ensuring that the meat has been cooked thoroughly, that way you and your family won't possibly become sick from eating improperly cooked pork.

On a side note, the woman who asked about this ham on the Farm Direct Minnesota Facebook group was getting either a refund in full from the butcher she got it from or that it would be replaced in full according to an updated post.

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