Category Archives: Food Virus

USA – Employee at The Back Corner in Nashville, TN Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

Food Poisoning Bulletin

An employee at The Back Corner, an entertainment venue at 1413 5th Avenue North in Nashville, Tennessee, has been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to the Nashville Public Health Department. The Metro Public Health Department (MPDH) is issuing a public notice and will offer free hepatitis A vaccinations to customers who visited that facility on June 28, 29, or 30, 2018

Denmark – Two concurrent outbreaks of hepatitis A highlight the risk of infection for non-immune travellers to Morocco, January to June 2018

Eurosurveillance Virusds

On 2 May 2018, Denmark reported a cluster of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections with the subgenotype IA strain DK2018_231, through the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)’s Epidemic Intelligence Information System (EPIS) for food- and waterborne diseases and zoonoses (FWD). One of the three confirmed cases had travelled to Morocco. In response, five additional European Union (EU) countries (France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom (UK)) reported cases (n = 20) infected with the same strain between 21 January and 10 April 2018. Concurrently, Germany reported to EPIS that it observed more cases of hepatitis A with travel history to Morocco than expected, compared with the same period in the previous 5 years. Molecular analysis of the HAV VP1/P2A region revealed an unrelated cluster of the HAV subgenotype IB strain V18–16428. Cases infected with this unrelated strain were also reported from France, the Netherlands, Sweden and UK.

The appearance of clusters with a link to Morocco triggered further epidemiological investigations.

The occurrence of the two concurrent HAV clusters in the first 6 months of 2018 serve as a reminder of the risk of contracting hepatitis A in Morocco, a country with intermediate endemicity [4,5]. HAV subgenotypes IA and IB are known to circulate in Morocco and strain DK2018_231 has been observed in sporadic cases with travel history to Morocco in previous years [68]. Despite the different characteristics of the two reported clusters, cases with a travel history to Morocco feature in both. In a recent study of European travellers, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco were listed as the top three destinations for acquiring travel-associated hepatitis A and accounted for one third of cases in the period 2009–15 [9]. The epidemiological link to Morocco is more apparent in cluster IB, where the majority of cases had confirmed travelling to Morocco and all interviewed autochthonous cases had reported consuming food items brought home from there.

In the IA cluster, only three cases had travelled to Morocco. However, the large proportion of autochthonous cases and their spatial distribution in this cluster suggest that an imported food item may have served as the vehicle in this outbreak. Large food-borne hepatitis A outbreaks from frozen berries and semi-dried tomatoes have previously affected European countries, further indicating that imported contaminated food products pose a risk to the increasingly susceptible general population in Europe [1013].

The outbreaks described here illustrate the increased risk that non-immune travellers face when visiting HAV-endemic areas like Morocco. All of the eight countries where cases occurred have explicit recommendations of hepatitis A vaccination for travel to endemic countries, in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations [14,15]. Yet it appears that it is not uncommon for people to travel unvaccinated to HAV-endemic countries. An outbreak investigation of hepatitis A in travellers to Egypt between 2012 and 2013 found a high proportion of travellers who were not immunised before travelling [16,17]. Interviews with the German cases have rendered similar results, suggesting that there may be an information gap regarding both the risk of hepatitis A and the availability of a safe and effective vaccine.

Sweden – Thirteen infected with Hepatitis A virus from frozen strawberries

Food Safety News

Thirteen people in Sweden have been infected by Hepatitis A virus linked to frozen strawberries from Poland.

Eleven confirmed and two suspected cases come are reported from four Swedish counties, Skåne, Blekinge, Kalmar and Gävleborg. 

Nine women and four men aged 11 to 92 are affected. The most recent person to fall ill had symptoms begin on June 18.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten), the National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket) and local authorities are involved in the investigation. They traced the source of Hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection to frozen strawberries from Poland and informed Polish authorities of their findings.

All of the cases had smoothies or a dessert containing frozen imported strawberries that were not heated prior to consumption. The strawberries were not sold directly to consumers.

USA – Las Vegas: Suspect norovirus illness at Westgate Resort & Casino investigated

Outbreak News Today Norovirus Food Safety kswfoodworld

The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) is investigating a suspect norovirus outbreak among employees and guests of the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. Local media reports that nearly 20 people have been sickened.

As part of the investigation, health officials are conducting a survey to gather information and assist  in determining the extent of illness.

Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that often goes by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.

USA – Nearly 2,000 Vaccinated for Hepatitis A after Dining at Hardee’s

Food Poison Journal Virusds

Patrons who ate at Hardee’s restaurant on Little Rock Road in Charlotte between June 13 and 23 should receive a hepatitis A vaccination as soon as possible.

Director Gibbie Harris announced today that the outbreak identified by the State and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) earlier this month in Mecklenburg County has led to five additional cases since June 6, including a Hardee’s employee diagnosed Monday.

“After consulting with the State today, we are recommending a vaccination for exposed employees and patrons who ate at the 2604 Little Rock Road location between June 13 and 23,” Harris said. “According to the CDC, the vaccine must be given within 14 days of exposure for the vaccine to be effective.”

People who dined at Hardees on Little Rock Road on June 13 and 14 are strongly urged to get a vaccination in the next two days.

Food Poison Journal

West Virginia McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Paul’s Poplar Park Drive Inn, Sakura and Sam’s Club Food Workers with Hepatitis A

RASFF Alert – Norovirus – Live Oysters

kswfoodworld food safety poisoning

RASFF-norovirus (presence) in live oysters from France in the Netherlands


RASFF – Foodborne outbreak caused by Hepatitis A virus

kswfoodworld food safety poisoning

RASFF -foodborne outbreak caused by hepatitis A virus (1B) in frozen strawberries from Poland in Sweden