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UK Supermarket ‘May Have Infected Thousands With Hepatitis E From Sausages and Ham’

A British study investigating hepatitis E (HEV) contagions among 60 patients with the disease found they may have gotten it from pork products sold by an unnamed supermarket, The Independent reports. Up to 200,000 people a year are infected with HEV in the U.K.; news reports said the pork products “may have infected thousands,” even though researchers cautioned that their study was carried out six years ago, and is just now being reported.

It goes without saying that even though the research wasn’t reported until now, it still involved processed foods. From bacteria and viruses to pesticides and even fluoride, both processed and fresh foods are at risk of contamination. That’s why it’s up to you to make good choices when you shop.

First, try to always buy fresh rather than packaged foods. This will ensure that you avoid chemicals that are used in the packaging, such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), both of which are associated with a wide array of health conditions.

When you’re buying fresh, you also need to buy organic, as nonorganic fresh fruits and vegetables are often contaminated with at least one detectable pesticide residue. Strawberries, apples, nectarines, peaches and celery are good examples of foods that you need to buy organic.

On the other hand, “clean” foods include avocados, pineapples, onions, asparagus and papayas, to name a few. The bottom line is eating organic is one of the best ways to lower your overall pesticide burden. The largest study of its kind found that people who "often or always" ate organic food had about 65 percent lower levels of pesticide residues compared to those who ate the least amount of organic produce.
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