Category Archives: Food Virus

RASFF Alert -Hepatitis A – Mixed Frozen Berries

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RASFF – hepatitis A virus (presence /25g) in mixed frozen berries from Italy, with raw material from Ukraine, Lithuania and Romania in Italy

USA – Possible Hepatitis A Exposure at Roy Moore’s Fish Shack in Rockport, MA

Food Poisoning Bulletin

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is warning consumers that if they ate cold food or uncooked food at Roy Moore’s Fish Shack in Rockport, Massachusetts between April 21 and May 12, 2019 may have been exposed to hepatitis A. A food service employee of the restaurant who worked there during those dates has been confirmed as sick with hepatitis A.

USA – FDA now tests frozen berries for Norovirus and Hepatitis A

Food Dive Black_Butte_blackberry

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been sampling frozen strawberries, frozen raspberries and frozen blackberries for the presence of norovirus and hepatitis A since last November.
  • The agency noted four foodborne illness outbreaks between 1997 and 2016 were linked to frozen berries — three caused by hepatitis A and one by norovirus. The three hepatitis A outbreaks sickened 405 people and caused 53 hospitalizations, while the norovirus outbreak sickened 136, FDA said. Other illness outbreaks linked to frozen berries have occurred in Europe and elsewhere, the agency added.
  • The testing will last about 18 months, FDA said, and involves domestic samples in retail packaging from processors, distribution centers, warehouses, and retail locations. Samples of imported frozen berries will be gathered from ports of entry, importer warehouses and other storage facilities where foreign goods are cleared for entry into the U.S. The agency plans to test 2,000 samples and post quarterly results online.

 

USA – Norovirus possibly to blame after about 60 fall ill at event

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Health officials on the North Carolina coast say norovirus may be what caused nearly 60 people to get sick at a recent charity event.

The Dare County Department of Health and Human Services says on its webpage that there were about 250 people at the event in Manteo on May 3. The news release from the department also says that of the people who showed symptoms, three reported seeking medical attention.

Also, the department says the investigation is inconclusive given that only one sample was taken for testing and the result was negative for any specific foodborne bacteria.

UK – Challenges of investigating a large food-borne Norovirus outbreak across all branches of a restaurant group in the United Kingdom, October 2016

Eurosurveillance

During October and November 2016, over 1,000 customers and staff reported gastroenteritis after eating at all 23 branches of a restaurant group in the United Kingdom. The outbreak coincided with a new menu launch and norovirus was identified as the causative agent. We conducted four retrospective cohort studies; one among all restaurant staff and three in customers at four branches. We investigated the dishes consumed, reviewed recipes, interviewed chefs and inspected restaurants to identify common ingredients and preparation methods for implicated dishes. Investigations were complicated by three public health agencies concurrently conducting multiple analytical studies, the complex menu with many shared constituent ingredients and the high media attention. The likely source was a contaminated batch of a nationally distributed ingredient, but analytical studies were unable to implicate a single ingredient. The most likely vehicle was a new chipotle chilli product imported from outside the European Union, that was used uncooked in the implicated dishes. This outbreak exemplifies the possibility of rapid spread of infectious agents within a restaurant supply chain, following introduction of a contaminated ingredient. It underlines the importance of appropriate risk assessments and control measures being in place, particularly for new ingredients and ready-to-eat foods.

Italy – Hepatitis cases linked to turmeric food supplements in Italy

Food Safety News

Two cases of hepatitis have been associated with a brand of turmeric food supplements, according to Italian health authorities.

The Istituto Superiore di Sanità (National Institute of Health/ISS) reported that two types of turmeric food supplements of the company Ni.va. Di Destro Franco and Masetto Loretta S.n.c., based in Via Padova 56, Vigonza have been recalled.

Curcumina Plus 95 percent with production lot code 18L823 and expiration date of October 2021 and Curcumina 95 percent with production lot code 18M861 and expiration  date of November 2021 are affected.

They were produced by the firm Frama S.R.L. in Noventa Padovana.

ISS reported that the two acute cholestatic hepatitis cases “evolved favorably” but did not give more details on the patients or type of hepatitis involved.

RASFF Alert – Norovirus – Frozen Red Currants – Oysters

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RASFF – norovirus (presence /25g) in frozen red currants from Poland in Belgium

RASFF – norovirus (GI; GII /2g) in oysters from the Netherlands in Belgium