A hepatitis E-positive meat product appears to be behind most of the infections that occurred earlier this year in Finland.

The hepatitis E virus previously detected in sausages from a domestic manufacturer is similar to samples from most people affected by the outbreak at the start of 2024.

This was found during a strain comparison of viruses by the Finnish Food Authority (Ruokavirasto) and the National Institute of Health and Welfare (THL).

More than 120 people from different parts of Finland have fallen ill in the outbreak between January and March.

At least 42 people have needed hospital treatment. Of

Continue Reading Meat products linked to the majority of hepatitis E cases in Finland

Experts have assessed prevention and intervention methods to tackle foodborne viruses in different products.

In February, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meeting on Microbiological Risk Assessment (JEMRA) on viruses in foods took place in Geneva, Switzerland, after a related request by the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene in 2022. The committee is meeting in Kenya this week.

The event focused on prevention and intervention measures. The findings have been summarized, and the full report will be available later.

The first part of the meeting in September 2023 in Rome, Italy, covered food attribution, analytical methods, and indicators. The virus-commodity combinations

Continue Reading Scientists discuss ways to control foodborne viruses

Finnish officials are investigating the connection between a hepatitis E-positive meat product and a rise in infections in the country.

In January and February, 81 hepatitis E cases from different parts of Finland were reported to the Infectious Disease Register. Half of these people have required hospital treatment. Between 20 and 60 hepatitis E cases are reported to the Infectious Disease Register annually. In 2023, there were 30 cases. In January 2023, only one Hepatitis E infection was reported in the register.

In laboratory tests by the Finnish Food Authority (Ruokavirasto), the hepatitis E virus was found in a product

Continue Reading Meat recalled as Finland deals with hepatitis E rise

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) monitors the situation after some countries reported a spike in Hepatitis E infections.

In January 2024, 520 Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infections have been noted in 10 countries. No connection has yet been established between all these cases.

An increase was reported in Belgium, the Czech Republic, and Finland compared to the same time period in 2023. Patients in these countries had a median age of 59, 62, and 64, respectively, and two-thirds were male.

In Finland, 21 of 24 interviewed cases reported eating mettwurst or salami of various brands during

Continue Reading ECDC monitoring Hepatitis E cases in Europe

A spike in hepatitis E infections was recorded in Finland this past month.

The National Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) is investigating the reasons for the increase.

In January, 19 people fell ill due to a hepatitis E infection in different parts of the country.

In 2023, only one hepatitis E infection was reported to the Infectious Disease Register during the same period.

THL has requested hepatitis E-positive samples from clinical laboratories for genotyping. This information on the virus is used to identify a potential outbreak.

So far, six infected people have been interviewed by THL, but no specific common

Continue Reading Finnish officials investigate hepatitis E rise

Experts have named norovirus the leading cause of viral foodborne illness, followed by Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E.

Hepatitis A and E viruses were ranked equally but higher compared to norovirus in terms of clinical severity by scientists at a recent meeting organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

In September, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meeting on Microbiological Risk Assessment (JEMRA) on viruses in foods took place in Rome, Italy, in response to a request by the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene in 2022.

It focused on food attribution, analytical methods, and

Continue Reading Norovirus tops expert ranking of foodborne viruses

The United States is part of a network on safe meat from wild game.

The “Safety in the Game Meat Chain” network will run for four years under the leadership of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).

It includes 29 countries, many of which are EU member states and non-EU countries, including those in the Western Balkans, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand, and Australia.

The aim is to promote the exchange of knowledge on the health risks for consumers of game meat obtained through hunting. Such meat includes red deer, wild boar, or

Continue Reading U.S. involved in network dealing with game meat safety

Health officials in Jersey are investigating some Hepatitis E infections. It is unusual for Jersey to record any cases of the virus, according to health officials.

The Environmental Health Department in Jersey said the number of sick people is low. Jersey is the biggest of the Channel Islands and is near France.

An association has been made with undercooked pork, based on food history information obtained from sick people in interviews.

All cases have been adults and most of those sick are aged over 50. There have been hospitalizations but no deaths have been recorded.

Patient confidentiality reasons were cited

Continue Reading Hepatitis E cases in Jersey linked to undercooked pork

Recent controls in Austria have found Campylobacter in raw milk, Salmonella in chicken, and Hepatitis E in raw pork liver.

Earlier this year, a campaign checked raw milk from vending machines for germs and residues of cleaning agents.

The Austria Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) said that raw milk could contain pathogens despite hygiene measures during milking. The advice is to boil it before drinking. For products sold directly to consumers via vending machines or in the farm shop, the note: “Raw milk, boil before consumption” must be present.

Sixty samples from across Austria were examined and 23

Continue Reading Austria reveals results showing pathogens in raw milk and meat

The number of foodborne outbreaks almost tripled in Switzerland in 2021 compared to the year before.

This past year, 37 outbreaks were reported with 540 people sick and 40 hospitalized versus 13 outbreaks in 2020.

Officials at the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office said the increase could be random, it could be due to better reporting and data collection or it could show the food safety situation has gotten worse, possibly because of the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges facing businesses.

The agent was unknown in 17 outbreaks but Salmonella caused seven, norovirus four, Campylobacter three, two were due

Continue Reading Swiss outbreaks triple in 2021; illnesses also rise