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Norovirus (GII /2g) in live clams (Ruditapes philippinarum) from Spain in Italy
Hong Kong – Trade instructed to suspend importing and selling of raw oysters produced by Whitstable Oyster Company in UK – Norovirus
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (July 6) instructed the trade to suspend the import of raw oysters produced by Whitstable Oyster Company in the United Kingdom (UK). The trade should also stop using or selling the product concerned immediately should they possess it.
A spokesman for the CFS said, “The CFS was notified by the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health of several food poisoning cases which involved consumption of raw oysters at one restaurant in Sha Tin and one restaurant in Causeway Bay. The CFS conducted investigations at the restaurants concerned and found that both restaurants had sold raw oysters from the Whitstable Oyster Company in the United Kingdom supplied by the same local supplier. As well, the CFS received a notification from the Food Standards Agency of the UK that raw oysters supplied by Whitstable Oyster Company in the UK were suspected to be contaminated with norovirus. For the sake of prudence, the CFS has immediately instructed the trade to suspend the import into and sale within Hong Kong of all raw oysters produced by Whitstable Oyster Company in UK.”
The CFS has also instructed the supplier and restaurants concerned to stop supplying and selling the affected raw oysters immediately, and is tracing the distribution of the affected product. The trade should also stop using or selling the product in question.
The spokesman pointed out that as oysters feed by filtering a large volume of seawater, pathogens (such as norovirus), chemical contaminants or natural toxins can accumulate in them if they are grown in or harvested from contaminated water. Regardless of the season or the region in which the oysters are harvested, consuming oysters, particularly raw or partially cooked ones, carries an inherent food safety risk. Susceptible groups, such as pregnant women, young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems or liver diseases, should avoid eating raw oysters.
The CFS will inform the British authorities and will also notify the local trade. It will continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action to safeguard food safety and public health. An investigation is ongoing.
Research – Occurrence of Human Enteric Viruses in Shellfish along the Production and Distribution Chain in Sicily, Italy
Contamination of bivalve mollusks with human pathogenic viruses represents a recognized food safety risk. Thus, monitoring programs for shellfish quality along the entire food chain could help to finally preserve the health of consumers. The aim of the present study was to provide up-to-date data on the prevalence of enteric virus contamination along the shellfish production and distribution chain in Sicily. To this end, 162 batches of mollusks were collected between 2017 and 2019 from harvesting areas, depuration and dispatch centers (n = 63), restaurants (n = 6) and retail stores (n = 93) distributed all over the island. Samples were processed according to ISO 15216 standard method, and the presence of genogroup GI and GII norovirus (NoV), hepatitis A and E viruses (HAV, HEV), rotavirus and adenovirus was investigated by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (real-time-RT PCR), nested (RT)-PCR and molecular genotyping. Our findings show that 5.56% of samples were contaminated with at least one NoV, HAV and/or HEV. Contaminated shellfish were sampled at production sites and retail stores and their origin was traced back to Spain and several municipalities in Italy. In conclusion, our study highlights the need to implement routine monitoring programs along the whole food chain as an effective measure to prevent foodborne transmission of enteric viruses. View Full-Text
A norovirus outbreak among restaurant patrons in the Seattle-King County area of Washington has been reported.
The public health department reported on June 9 that 13 people from one meal party came down ill with symptoms of the virus after eating at Mazatlan Restaurant in Auburn, WA. The people dined at the restaurant on May 21.
“We have not identified how norovirus was spread within the restaurant. This is not uncommon for norovirus outbreaks because the virus can spread through multiple contaminated food items, environmental surfaces, and from person to person,” according to a statement from the public health department.
According to Seattle King County Department of Health there appears to be a norovirus outbreak in Shoreline.
Public Health is investigating an outbreak of norovirus-like illness with vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, and chills associated with Habit Burger Grill in Shoreline.
We have not identified how norovirus was spread within the restaurant. This is not uncommon for norovirus outbreaks because the virus can spread through multiple contaminated food items, environmental surfaces, and from person to person.
Norovirus (detected /25g) in live oysters (Crassotrea gigas) from France inSpain
State and local health authorities in Colorado are acknowledging they are investigating an apparent foodborne illness outbreak involving a Chipotle Mexican Grill near Denver.
Two agencies, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the local Tri-County Health Department, are involved, and CDPHE issued the following statement.
“CDPHE is partnering with the Tri-County Health Department on a suspected foodborne outbreak at the Chipotle located at 6710 S Cornerstar Way. The investigation is ongoing, and at this time, the cause of the illness has not been identified.
“Symptoms appear to be consistent with viral gastroenteritis, which is often caused by norovirus. So far, CDPHE has identified a total of 8 ill patrons and employees. Public health officials are working closely with the restaurant, which has implemented disease control measures.”