New research from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), found that Hepatitis E is an “emerging foodborne pathogen,” that is transmitted to humans through raw or undercooked pork products.

According to the study, “40 percent of U.S. slaughterhouse pigs (sampled) were seropositive for HEV (hepatitis E virus), indicating prior HEV infection of the pigs on the farms, which was consistent with prior estimates for farmed U.S. pigs.” This means hepatitis E could enter our food chain.

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The scientists took 23,000 samples from pigs in 25 slaughterhouses around the United States. They found, “We previously showed that HEV-3 is present in U.S. swine herds and that a small proportion of commercial pork products, such as liver and chitterlings, from U.S. grocery stores contain infectious HEV.”

Scientists do not have a vaccine available for hepatitis E and the CDC reports that symptoms can take up to 60 days to develop after exposure. Scientists report that while the entry point to the food chain “remains unknown,” the possibility is there. Some symptoms of Hepatitis E include fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and jaundice.

Human-animal disease transmission has been on the rise, as evidenced by the coronavirus. Related studies found that pigs in the United Kingdom and Scotland’s slaughterhouses were also exposed to the virus. A swine flu epidemic in slaughterhouses also made headlines around the world.

Read more about food safety and disease in One Green Planet:

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Reducing your meat intake is one way to avoid getting sick. Plant-based meals are known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

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