Consumption of bacon, cured pork, and other pork products increase the risk for hepatitis E, according to data published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. Researchers compared hepatitis E virus (HEV) RNA-positive blood samples with negative blood samples for risk factors for HEV infections. Results associated consumption of bacon, cured pork meats, and pigs’ livers with hepatitis infection. In those with positive results, 97.4% reported pork consumption. Donors who do not eat meat had no positive results. The authors note viral transmission can occur in both cooked and uncooked cured pork products with no known time or temperature of cooking these products to make them safe from the virus.
Smith I, Said B, Vaughan A, et al. Case–control study of risk factors for acquired hepatitis E virus infections in blood donors, United Kingdom, 2018–2019. Emerg Infect Dis. Published online May 6, 2021. doi: 10.3201/eid2706.203964