Category Archives: Hepatitis A

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.

 

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.

USA -FDA Sampling Frozen Berries for Harmful Viruses

FDA

 

Some people use frozen berries without first cooking them, increasing their risk of exposure to harmful viruses. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported three hepatitis A virus outbreaks and one norovirus outbreak linked to frozen berries in the United States from 1997 to 2016. The FDA began sampling frozen berries for each hazard as part of the agency’s efforts to protect consumers and ensure food safety.

The sampling assignment began in November and is estimated to last approximately 18 months. The agency is collecting domestic samples of frozen berries in retail packaging from processors, distribution centers, warehouses, and retail locations. The agency is also collecting import samples from ports of entry, importer warehouses, or other storage facilities where foreign goods are cleared for entry into the country. The FDA plans to collect and test 2,000 samples in all.

Frozen berries are used as ingredients in many foods without being cooked; cooking would reduce or eliminate potential contamination. Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are delicate and may become contaminated with bacteria or viruses if handled by an infected worker who does not use appropriate hand hygiene, or if exposed to contaminated agricultural water or a contaminated surface, like a harvesting tote. Freezing preserves berries but generally does not kill viruses, which can survive at low temperatures.

If the FDA detects hepatitis A virus or norovirus in a sample, the agency will notify the firm of the finding(s) and work with the firm to take appropriate action to protect the public health. Upon detecting a positive test result, the FDA may also take actions such as placing a firm on an import alert, overseeing a recall, or issuing public warnings.

The FDA will post the sampling results on its FY 19-20 Frozen Berries Assignment page on a quarterly basis and will publish an analytical report once the assignment is complete.

Research – Evaluation of Inactivating Norovirus, Hepatitis A, and Listeria monocytogenes on Raspberries by Sanitizer Spray

Journal of Food Protection

ABSTRACT

Reducing the risk of contamination with foodborne pathogens is paramount in maintaining safety of produce. The raspberry industry uses chlorine spray as a control measure before conveying freshly picked red raspberries into individually quick frozen units. However, the efficacy of sanitizer spray treatment to inactivate norovirus, hepatitis A virus (HAV), and Listeria monocytogenes on raspberries has not been characterized. In this study, a laboratory-scale spray bar device was fabricated to simulate industrial settings. Fresh raspberries were spot inoculated with murine norovirus (MNV, a norovirus surrogate), HAV, or L. monocytogenes and sprayed with 50 ppm of chlorine or 80 ppm of peroxyacetic acid (PAA). Surviving pathogens were enumerated after spray or postspray frozen storage at −20°C for 1 and 24 h. Chlorine and PAA spray treatments reduced MNV and L. monocytogenes from raspberries by 0.2 and 0.6 log but had no effect on HAV. During frozen storage after spray treatment, the residual PAA on the fruit surfaces further reduced MNV and L. monocytogenes, achieving a total reduction of approximately 0.6 and 3.0 log, respectively. HAV levels were not affected by frozen storage after PAA or chlorine spray treatment. The findings were supported by the sanitizer decay results showing that PAA decayed more slowly than active chlorine on raspberry surfaces. Submerging washes conducted as comparisons showed higher reduction of pathogens from raspberry surfaces than similar respective sanitizer spray treatments. The results suggest that PAA could contribute to raspberry postharvest sanitation, aiding in risk reduction of pathogen contamination prior to entering an individually quick frozen unit.

Research – Evaluation of Inactivating Norovirus, Hepatitis A, and Listeria monocytogenes on Raspberries by Sanitizer Spray

Journal of Food Protection

Reducing the risk of contamination with foodborne pathogens is paramount in maintaining safety of produce. The raspberry industry uses chlorine spray as a control measure before conveying freshly picked red raspberries into individually quick frozen units. However, the efficacy of sanitizer spray treatment to inactivate norovirus, hepatitis A virus (HAV), and Listeria monocytogenes on raspberries has not been characterized. In this study, a laboratory-scale spray bar device was fabricated to simulate industrial settings. Fresh raspberries were spot inoculated with murine norovirus (MNV, a norovirus surrogate), HAV, or L. monocytogenes and sprayed with 50 ppm of chlorine or 80 ppm of peroxyacetic acid (PAA). Surviving pathogens were enumerated after spray or postspray frozen storage at −20°C for 1 and 24 h. Chlorine and PAA spray treatments reduced MNV and L. monocytogenes from raspberries by 0.2 and 0.6 log but had no effect on HAV. During frozen storage after spray treatment, the residual PAA on the fruit surfaces further reduced MNV and L. monocytogenes, achieving a total reduction of approximately 0.6 and 3.0 log, respectively. HAV levels were not affected by frozen storage after PAA or chlorine spray treatment. The findings were supported by the sanitizer decay results showing that PAA decayed more slowly than active chlorine on raspberry surfaces. Submerging washes conducted as comparisons showed higher reduction of pathogens from raspberry surfaces than similar respective sanitizer spray treatments. The results suggest that PAA could contribute to raspberry postharvest sanitation, aiding in risk reduction of pathogen contamination prior to entering an individually quick frozen un

USA – Potential Hepatitis A Exposure from McDonalds Restaurant Worker

Food Poison Journal

The Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest Health District officials have confirmed a case of hepatitis A in a food handler at McDonald’s, 106 LaFayette Road, Chickamauga, GA. An investigation found that this employee worked at the restaurant while infectious, from March 4 through March 17. While it is relatively rare for restaurant patrons to become infected with hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler, “there might be some risk to the public,” says District Health Director Dr. Unini Odama, “and therefore we are doing everything necessary to protect the public and anyone that might have been inadvertently exposed to the hepatitis A virus.”