Page 11 - APN September 2017
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Pork likely to be linked to hepatitis E in UK
PORK products sold in a leading supermar- ket may have infected people in the United Kingdom with a form of hepatitis, according to a study by Public Health England.
Researchers carried out an investigation of the shopping habits of people infected with the hepatitis E virus.
The study showed the respondents had eaten ham and sausages from a leading supermarket chain.
Although PHE decid- ed against naming the supermarket, UK news- papers have reported it was Tesco, one of Brit- ain’s biggest supermar- ket operators.
A spokesman for PHE said the risk to public health in England from hepatitis E is low be- cause it is usually a mild, self-limiting ill- ness that most people
will clear without any symptoms.
The study was a statis- tical analysis that found an association between clinical hepatitis E and sausage and ham prod- ucts rather than direct causation, according to the spokesman.
PHE has said the vi- rus strain has not been detected in British pigs and infections could be the result of eating products made outside the UK.
The story made head- line news in Britain fol- lowing a major feature about the report in the Sunday Times newspa- per.
Health officials say the disease generally results in a mild and short-term infection unless the per- son has a pre-existing liver disease or is preg- nant.
Symptoms of the vi- rus include flu-like feel-
ings, yellowing of the skin and eyes, tiredness, fever, vomiting and loss of appetite.
In rare cases, it can cause liver failure and prove fatal.
The Food Standards Agency said it was aware of the report’s findings, and was re- viewing all aspects of hepatitis E infection with other government departments and indus- try.
“The risk from acquir- ing the hepatitis E virus from eating thoroughly cooked pork or pork products is low,” an FSA spokesperson said.
“As a precaution, the FSA advises consum- ers that all whole cuts of pork, pork products and offal should be thoroughly cooked until steaming hot through- out, the meat is no long- er pink and juices run clear.”
Taking biogas system monitoring for granted
PORK CRC is funding grants to a limited num- ber of Australian pork producers with existing biogas systems to help them install remote monitoring instrumenta- tion on their Australian biogas systems.
This initiative is be- ing administered by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fish- eries.
A total of $30,000 is available to share equally between a maximum of three pork producers.
Grants must be used to buy and install instrumen- tation for monitoring flow volume, moisture, tem- perature and composition of biogas used in existing Australian on-farm biogas systems.
The instrumentation, which will regularly log the composition of the biogas (methane, carbon dioxide, oxygen and hy- drogen sulphide concen- trations), upstream and downstream of biogas treatment, must also in- clude a data logger and communications system to allow remote monitor- ing of the system opera- tion.
The total cost of buying and installing the entire biogas monitoring and communication instru- mentation is estimated at $50,000 per farm, how- ever this may vary de- pending on existing sys- tem components, costs as- sociated with complying with the relevant state gas safety legislation and la- bour to assist with system installation.
The purpose of the mon- itoring is to provide full data collected to the Pork CRC Bioenergy Support Program for a minimum
of two years (subject to reasonable privacy provi- sions).
This monitoring data is to be used for the follow- ing purposes:
• Early diagnosis of op- erational irregularities or system faults;
• Evaluating operat- ing strategies and biogas treatment methods;
• Managing changes in biogas composition;
• Validating the energy and economic value of biogas;
• Assessing short and long-term seasonal varia- tions in biogas production and quality;
• Managing biogas use options to maximise eco- nomic benefit; and
• Quantifying biogas production in the pork in- dustry.
Expressions of interest are to be submitted to the email address below and will be assessed to select a maximum of three for receipt of the grants.
If fewer than three eli- gible expressions are re- ceived, the available funds ($30,000) will be shared equally between eligible expressions received.
Agreements will be negotiated between the successful producers and DAF Queensland.
Under these agreements, each producer will be re-
sponsible for the purchase, installation and commis- sioning of the instrumen- tation, in accordance with all relevant regulatory standards and legislation.
This will require a sub- stantial investment by the participating producer(s) to fund the shortfall be- tween the grant amount and the total cost of the installation.
Pork CRC Bioenergy Support Program re- searchers will be avail-
able to provide technical support with the instal- lation of the monitoring equipment.
For further information on how to participate or make a submission, con- tact me on 07 4529 4247 or email submissions to alan.skerman@daf.qld.
Please note, expressions of interest close Friday, September 22, 2017.
It,s a gas
by ALAN SKERMAN Leader, Pork CRC Bioenergy Support Program
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Australian Pork Newspaper, September 2017 – Page 11

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