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Sun-dried tomato linked to hepatitis

health-and-fitness Updated: Mar 06, 2012 13:16 IST

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British health experts are investigating an outbreak of potentially deadly hepatitis linked to sun-dried tomatoes.

A probe by the The Health Protection Agency of cases of hepatitis A from July to December last year revealed seven cases in which sun-dried tomatoes were implicated.

Hepatitis A is infectious and can lead to fatal liver complications.

Health officials fear contaminated samples or other foods containing them could still be on sale or lurking in kitchen cupboards, the Daily Mail reported Monday.

This is because they are unable to test food for the virus and do not know which brand of sun-dried tomato is responsible.

Sun-dried tomatoes have become an increasingly popular ingredient in middle class kitchens and favourite of TV celebrity chefs.

The hepatitis A virus is carried by human faeces and can be passed on through contaminated food or water. It is a common food-borne disease preventable by vaccine.