Category Archives: Hepatitis E

Information – FSA – Hepatitis E – Fact Sheet

FSA Virusds

Hepatitis E is an infection caused by the hepatitis E virus (also known as HEV). Both humans and animals can be infected by HEV.

For most people, the symptoms of hepatitis E are mild and clear up within four weeks, but in rare cases the disease can be fatal.

UK Scotland – Annual Summary of Hepatitis E Infections, 2017

HPS Scotland

15 May 2018

Reports of hepatitis E (HEV) infection in Scotland have increased in recent years, as they have elsewhere in the UK. Since 2011, laboratory reports of HEV in Scotland have increased from 13 in 2011, to a peak of 206 in 2016 (Figure 1). In 2017, HPS received 170 reports of HEV, a decline of 36 (17.5%) on the number in 2016.

Publisher(s)

  • Health Protection Scotland

 

Research – Detection of foodborne viruses in ready‐to‐eat meat products and meat processing plants

Wiley Online

Abstract

Several studies have confirmed the presence of foodborne viruses in different food products throughout the world. There is accumulating data suggesting that the economic burden of foodborne viral infections is rising, making the understanding and monitoring of their prevalence a necessity, for the modern food industry. The objective of this study was to examine ready‐to‐eat meat products and environmental samples originated from meat processing plants in Cyprus, for four foodborne viruses: norovirus (NoV GGI, NoV GII), rotavirus, hepatitis A virus, and hepatitis E virus. A total of 48 swab samples and 42 different pork meat products from two plants were analyzed in parallel. The reverse transcription real‐time polymerase chain reaction revealed two swab samples from the same plant positive for norovirus GGI. The detection of norovirus on a slicer machine and on the hands of a worker, suggest that foodborne viruses can be present in meat processing environments.

Practical applications

There is an increasing need to better understand the prevalence of foodborne viruses in the environment and food, given the rise of viral foodborne outbreaks throughout the world, as reported by World Health Organization. Meat products form an important exposure vehicle to humans either directly, through the consumption of raw products, or as a result of cross‐contamination in food processing plants. This is the first report in Cyprus illustrating the presence of foodborne viruses in meat processing plants and the possible impact in public health, through the consumption of ready‐to‐eat meat products.

UK – FSA – Consultation on Virus

FSA Virusds

The Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) is a scientific advisory committee that provides the FSA with independent expert advice. This helps the FSA ensure that policy development and consumer advice in relation to the microbiological safety of food are based upon sound science and relevant practical experience and expertise. The Committee’s terms of reference are to assess the risk to humans from microorganisms that are used or occur in or on food and to advise the FSA on any matters relating to the microbiological safety of food.

Since the publication of the 1998 ACMSF report on foodborne viral infections, with the exception of minor risk assessment work carried out on hepatitis E and avian influenza, no formal review has been carried out on foodborne viruses.

At the March 2010 ACMSF meeting the FSA asked the Committee to consider whether it was timely to carry out a review of foodborne viral infections, assessing the risk to consumers and highlighting any research and surveillance gaps.

The Committee agreed that an ad hoc group should be set up to revisit the issue of foodborne viruses in light of the significant developments in this area, so that an updated risk profile could be produced based on the findings.

The group met 13 times from November 2010 to July 2013 to assess the extent of viral foodborne infection in the UK.

The group considered information on all foodborne viruses including new and emerging viral pathogens and identified that the most important viruses associated with foodborne infection were norovirus, hepatitis A virus, and hepatitis E virus. These viruses are the focus of the group’s report, which concentrates mainly on viral foodborne infection in the UK. The report also gives consideration of two recent comprehensive reviews of viruses in food that have been published by WHO (2008) and EFSA (2011). The report provides key information that will be used to inform Risk Assessments and Risk Management on foodborne viruses across government.

The group’s draft report has now been approved by the full Committee and is attached for comment.

Research- Tracing Viruses in the European Berry Food Chain

Science DirectClose up 3d render of an influenza-like virus isolated on white

In recent years, numerous foodborne outbreaks due to consumption of berry fruit contaminated by human enteric viruses have been reported. This European multinational study investigated possible contamination routes by monitoring the entire food chain for a panel of human and animal enteric viruses.

A total of 785 samples were collected throughout the food production chain of four European countries (Czech Republic, Finland, Poland and Serbia) during two growing seasons. Samples were taken during the production phase, the processing phase, and at point-of-sale. Samples included irrigation water, animal faeces, food handlers’ hand swabs, swabs from toilets on farms, from conveyor belts at processing plants, and of raspberries or strawberries at points-of-sale; all were subjected to virus analysis. The samples were analysed by real-time (reverse transcription, RT)-PCR, primarily for human adenoviruses (hAdV) to demonstrate that a route of contamination existed from infected persons to the food supply chain. The analyses also included testing for the presence of selected human (norovirus, NoV GI, NoV GII and hepatitis A virus, HAV), animal (porcine adenovirus, pAdV and bovine polyomavirus, bPyV) and zoonotic (hepatitis E virus, HEV) viruses.

At berry production, hAdV was found in 9.5%, 5.8% and 9.1% of samples of irrigation water, food handlers’ hands and toilets, respectively. At the processing plants, hAdV was detected in one (2.0%) swab from a food handler’s hand. At point-of-sale, the prevalence of hAdV in fresh raspberries, frozen raspberries and fresh strawberries, was 0.7%, 3.2% and 2.0%, respectively.

Of the human pathogenic viruses, NoV GII was detected in two (3.6%) water samples at berry production, but no HAV was detected in any of the samples. HEV-contaminated frozen raspberries were found once (2.6%). Animal faecal contamination was evidenced by positive pAdV and bPyV assay results. At berry production, one water sample contained both viruses, and at point-of-sale 5.7% and 1.3% of fresh and frozen berries tested positive for pAdV.

At berry production hAdV was found both in irrigation water and on food handler’s hands, which indicated that these may be important vehicles by which human pathogenic viruses enter the berry fruit chain. Moreover, both zoonotic and animal enteric viruses could be detected on the end products. This study gives insight into viral sources and transmission routes and emphasizes the necessity for thorough compliance with good agricultural and hygienic practice at the farms to help protect the public from viral infections.

 

UK – Hepatitis E can be Food Borne

Mail Online

One in ten sausages may carry the hepatitis virus: Cases of rare deadly  strain have rocketed 40% in a year.Once  considered very rare, cases have risen by nearly 40 per cent in a  year, 1 in 50 of  those infected will die, rising to one in five pregnant women.

Sausages  most dangerous pork product – they contain liver  meat

 

Research – Norovirus Killed by Electron Beam

Food Poisoning Bulletin300px-Crassostrea_gigas_p1040848

Researchers at Texas A&M University have developed a way to pasteurize oysters without chemicals or heat using an electron beam. A study measuring the method’s efficacy on norovirus and hepatitis A appears in the June issue of the scientific journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Although the CDC recommends that all shellfish be cooked to an internal temperature of 140˚, many people enjoy raw eating oysters raw. Pasteurization is one way to address the health risk of raw foods. And it’s one of the electron beam or E beam applications being explored at the National Center for Electron Beam Research at Texas A&M University.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved E beam technology as a way to control Vibrio vulnificus, a naturally occurring bacteria in shellfish that can cause life- threatening illness or death. In this study, researchers measured E beam’s efficacy on different levels of viral concentration. They found that at high levels of contamination the E beam was able to reduce norovirus levels by 12 percent and hepatitis A levels by 16 percent and at more moderate levels of contamination the method was able to reduce norovirus by 26 percent and hepatitis A by 90 percent