Thousands at risk of pig virus from ‘Supermarket X’ sausages (now revealed as Tesco)

From today's Sunday Times:


"A leading British supermarket may unwittingly have infected thousands of people with a pig virus that causes liver cirrhosis and neurological damage, say researchers at Public Health England.

Hepatitis E (HEV) is transmitted by sausages and pork products from Europe, mainly Holland and Germany. UK pigs do not have the virus strain in question.

Scientists at PHE, a government agency, have traced the shopping habits of infected people and found that a common factor is consumption of own-brand sausages from “Supermarket X”.

PHE and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have refused to name Supermarket X but two separate sources said it was Tesco.

Two previous PHE studies going back to 2011 also pointed at Supermarket X’s pork products as a key source of the virus......."


Anybody have any further information as to which supermarket? Seems ridiculous that the FSA is refusing to name the supermarket.
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Comments

  • tizerbelle
    tizerbelle Posts: 1,800
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    Presumably they are not naming because it is not certain. Haven't read the news article but your quote above includes "may" in the first paragraph and "a common factor" in the third.

    "May" = we don't know whether they have or haven't - its just a theory.

    "A common factor" = one factor out of many. If it were the only factor you'd expect to read the only common factor.
  • alanq
    alanq Posts: 4,216
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    Various newspapers reported out the risk from HEV in pig products in May (including the Sunday Times) but without focusing on Supermarket X. I wonder what's new.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/brexit-virus-feared-in-10-of-sausages-hepaitits-e-hev-pig-farms-mffq0vbg3
  • A._Badger
    A._Badger Posts: 5,846
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    I would be surprised if it were just one supermarket that was involved,. Warnings were issued about pig meat (but in a very subdued voice) over a year ago. Presumably the government was anxious to avoid yet another food panic.

    It's another reason to avoid cheap imported meat from countries with lower standards and particularly processed products in which the cheapest ingredients are frequently used.
  • robin58
    robin58 Posts: 2,802 Forumite
    I would think the bigger question is how many pork products do you have to eat before it has any consequences.

    But to be honest mostly all food products are 'contaminated' in some form or other. If you had a list of everything you would starve to death.
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  • So are the Europeans all dropping like flies from HEV, or are they saving up all their infected pork to export here?
  • iammumtoone
    iammumtoone Posts: 6,377
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    robin58 wrote: »
    I would think the bigger question is how many pork products do you have to eat before it has any consequences.

    But to be honest mostly all food products are 'contaminated' in some form or other. If you had a list of everything you would starve to death.


    I do think as standard when they report these things they should give an idea of this. For example you will need to eat x sausages per week for this to maybe effect you (they will always be people it will effect but for the most of us we will be fine).

    We eat sausages on average once or twice a month I am not worried.
  • Partly-cooked pork products on BBQs are a risk factor.

    The current recommendation to cook pork and products containing pork (e.g. sausages) thoroughly to a minimum temperature of 75oC at the centre of the thickest part is sufficient to protect consumers from pathogenic micro-organisms, including hepatitis E virus.

    Normal grilling or frying of sausages until they are well browned and firm inside with no traces of pink meat, usually results in centre temperatures in excess of 85oC. However, it is not recommended to rely on visual cues alone for determining thorough cooking and it is better to use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of cooked meat and meat products before consuming them.

    In addition, effective hand washing and hygiene precautions in the kitchen are essential to prevent foodborne illness through handling of raw meat or cross contamination of cooked food by raw food.
  • Doc_N
    Doc_N Posts: 8,261
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    robin58 wrote: »
    I would think the bigger question is how many pork products do you have to eat before it has any consequences.

    But to be honest mostly all food products are 'contaminated' in some form or other. If you had a list of everything you would starve to death.

    As I understand it, with this particular virus one infected sausage or piece of ham is enough.

    The problem is, though, which one?
  • they say 150,000-200,000 EACH YEAR- is this for real? If the sausages are cooked properly is virus killed?


    Ham?
  • dlusman
    dlusman Posts: 2,711
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    I do think as standard when they report these things they should give an idea of this.

    If its a virus , then you only need to eat one piece of infected food to potentially catch it

    Different if it is a poison /insecticide- like the dutch egg recall from a few weeks ago - where there will be an acceptable limit ( though I dont recall ever reading one in that case )
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