There are reports in the media that a UK supermarket may have unintentionally infected thousands of people with Hepatitis E (also known as HEV). The virus is transmitted by sausages and pork products from Europe (mainly Holland and Germany), UK-bred pork is not affected. Only one supermarket is affected, however the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have declined to name the supermarket in question.
Symptoms of hepatitis E can include yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), darkening of the urine and pale stools, preceded by tiredness, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and loss of appetite. Most people who have been infected will have few symptoms but people with weakened immune systems such as those who have had a transplant can experience more severe infections.
We wanted to share the advice which has been given to us by NHS Blood and Transplant and the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs. They recommend following the Food Standards Agency guidance on pork and offal; all whole cuts of pork, pork products and offal should be thoroughly cooked until steaming hot throughout, the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear.
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