Safety Risks and Hepatitis E

Safety Risks and Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E occurs most often in countries with poor sanitation and communities where undercooked pork or pig products are eaten. Hepatitis E is the leading cause of acute viral hepatitis in EU countries, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The European Food Safety Authority looked at the matter and noted that pork pies, liver pate, wild boar, under-cooked or raw pork, home-made sausages, meat (in general), unpasteurised milk, shellfish and ethnic foods were cited as risk factors in the scientific literature. More than 21,000 cases of Hepatits E infections have been reported in humans over the last 10 years, with an overall 10-fold increase in this period, EFSA said in its latest opinion on the virus.

A case control study in Germany found ‘any offal’ and ‘wild boar meat’ were risk factors for hepatitis E infection in cases covered by the study. Another small case control study in France found ‘raw pig liver sausage’ was a risk factor. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has also published a report on Hepatitis E in humans which assesses testing, diagnosis and monitoring methods and reviews available epidemiological data.