FSA issues advice to consumers following hepatitis E reports

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued advice to consumers about cooking pork, following the recent media reports on the link between pork products and hepatitis E infections in humans.

The agency stressed that the risk of infection for humans remained ‘low’ as long as pork is cooked thoroughly.

It said: “Following media reports, we want to remind consumers of our advice about cooking pork thoroughly. We always advise that whole cuts of pork, pork products and offal should be thoroughly cooked until steaming hot throughout, the meat is no longer pink and juices run clear.

“This will reduce the risk of illness from harmful foodborne bacteria and viruses like hepatitis E. The risk from acquiring hepatitis E virus (HEV) from eating thoroughly cooked pork or pork products is low.

“Hepatitis E is an illness of the liver which can infect both animals and humans. Most people will clear the virus without any symptoms. Some people who have suppressed immune systems may find the infection hard to fight which in turn can cause chronic inflammation of the liver.”

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About The Author

Editor of Pig World and contributor to LBM’s other farming publications. Also National Pig Association webmaster. Formerly political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years. Enjoy a bit of media punditry. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm. Work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Under-9 football coach and big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.