08 Mar 2012
An investigation into whether outbreaks of hepatitis A are related to sun-dried tomatoes has been launched by health officials.
Two cases of the disease have been reported and were found to be the same type as three previous cases in the UK in 2010.
Hepatitis A is a virus that affects the liver and can result in inflammation.
Officials from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) are looking into the recent outbreak and have said that both infected people had recently eaten sub-dried tomatoes.
The 2010 cases were linked to a strain found in the Netherlands, which were found to be connected to sun-dried tomatoes.
The HPA has said that one of the cases confirmed in 2010 had recently travelled to Holland, where they had consumed the foodstuff.
“Sun-dried tomatoes are being investigated as one possible source of the Hepatitis A cases reported last year” the HPA and Food Standards Agency (FSA) said in a statement.
No specific food had been conclusively identified as being the cause of the outbreak and no other relevant cases had been reported in the UK since November 2011, according to the statement.
“The investigation by FSA and HPA is ongoing” the statement added.
Copyright Press Association 2012