Man In China Suffers Parasitic Infection In Brain After Eating Undercooked Meat During Hotpot

Waiting for your steamboat ingredients to finish cooking is probably one of the most sian things ever, especially when your stomach is grumbling.

However long that wait might be, it’s best to ensure that all raw ingredients like meat is completely cooked.


A man from Hubei, China, learnt this the hard way.

After failing to cook his pork and lamb slices properly during a hotpot meal, he developed epilepsy. A hospital visit later revealed that he had a parasitic infection in his brain, reported Lianhe Zaobao on Wednesday (20 Nov).

Ate half-cooked meat during steamboat

The 46-year-old man, identified as Mr Zhu, was suspected to have eaten undercooked pork and lamb.

Image for illustration purposes only

After his hotpot meal, Mr Zhu felt unwell and visited a hospital. He was initially diagnosed with intracranial calcification caused by metal deposits in blood vessels.


While the doctor requested a further checkup, Mr Zhu refused, claiming that he felt better.

Parasitic infection due to undercooked meat

Yet, for the following days, Zhu experienced seizures late at night and decided to return to the hospital for a checkup.

Doctors reportedly put him through an MRI scan, which revealed that there was a serious parasitic infection in his brain.


The doctor believed that the slices of meat Mr Zhu consumed had tapeworms commonly found in raw or undercooked pork. The parasites could have entered his brain through his digestive system.

The doctor explained that the parasite’s eggs can “hatch” in our digestive systems and circulate to different parts of our body, most commonly gathering in our brain.

If unsure whether steamboat ingredient is cooked, cook longer

Looking back, Mr Zhu admitted that he was too kancheong to eat. To make matters worse, the mala soup base’s crimson hue made it difficult for him to tell if the meat was properly cooked.

If there’s a lesson we can learn from this, it’s probably that it’s best to let your hotpot do its ‘thing’ and double-check your food before eating.

If you have doubts over whether an ingredient is properly cooked, just dip it in the soup for a while longer. Better to be safe than sorry.

Featured image adapted from The Woks Of Life and Sina