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Foods -- Meat and Poultry

What pests cause the most damage to a country ham?

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Pests causing the most difficulty in North Carolina are the skipper fly, certain beetles and mites. Skipper flies and beetles can be controlled by placing the hams into bags by the first of March. Mites are controlled by careful sanitation practices in the storage area. If hams are exposed to skipper flies, they may lay their eggs on the ham and in crevices. These may hatch and be seen as larva in the cut ham. Dispose of all infested pieces. Clean the storage area to get rid of breeding areas.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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