Foreign sausage meat is source of UK hepatitis E cases

Scientists at University College London have discovered that foreign sausage meat, much of it from France and Germany, is the likely source of increasing numbers of cases of the liver disease hepatitis E in Great Britain, the Sunday Times has reported.

Quoting the university’s professor of medical virology, Richard Tedder, it said tests had shown the virus infecting British consumers was identical to a strain infecting pig farms across Europe but different from those found in the UK.

The viral disease made 869 Britons seriously ill last year, and of those, 721 caught it from food eaten in the UK.

The figure compared with 274 in 2010, according to Public Health England, whose researchers realised pig meat was involved after surveys showed that up to 10% of sausages carried the virus.

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