Hazard Classification: Class 1 Reference Number: 4554
Source: Media relations Direction des communications Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Tel. : 418 380-2100, extension 3512 www.mapaq.gouv.qc.ca
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ), in collaboration with the company named in the table below, advises the population not to consume the product listed in the table below, this food may have been contaminated with norovirus.
This alert is the result of a Canadian Food Inspection Agency food recall involving Mantab brand IQF Whole Raspberries originating from China and distributed to several establishments across Canada .
The product was offered in a frozen state. The product label includes, in addition to its name, the words “Below Zero” and “Mantab”.
Boucherie Fruits et Légumes Guiges inc.
34 Main Street North
Saint Bruno de Guigues
“IQF WHOLE RASPBERRIES”
Batch #: XT21253
The company named in the table above is voluntarily recalling the product in question. It has agreed with MAPAQ to issue this warning as a precautionary measure. In addition, people who have this product in their possession are advised not to consume it. They must return it to the establishment where they bought it or must throw it away.
Even if the product does not show signs of tampering or suspicious odor, it is likely to be contaminated with norovirus. People exposed to this virus usually show symptoms within 24 to 48 hours of consumption. Common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Muscle pain, fatigue, fever, chills and headache may also occur. Cases of illness have been reported to MAPAQ and could be associated with the consumption of this food.
Just months ago the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts (RCAHD) announced that RCAHD had identified a total of 50 confirmed primary cases and 2 secondary cases. There have been at least 31 hospitalizations and unfortunately 4 deaths.
Now the risk of another outbreak is striking the same community.
New details have emerged as part of an ongoing investigation conducted by the Virginia Department of Health. The report involves an employee of Luigi’s restaurant in Roanoke who was recently diagnosed with hepatitis A. New information, obtained today, revealed that the employee may have had limited involvement in handling food prior to the food being cooked before consumption. Cooking food kills the virus that causes hepatitis A, therefore this situation does not meet the criteria of an exposure.
Given the high level of sensitivity of hepatitis A in our community, and out of an abundance of caution, the Roanoke City Health Department is offering hepatitis A vaccine to anyone who ate at Luigi’s between the dates of April 26 – May 17. Hepatitis A vaccinations will be available at the Roanoke City Health Department, 2nd Floor, 1502 Williamson Rd., Roanoke, VA 24012 this week at the following times:
Investigation findings identified consumption of raw oysters from British Columbia as the source of the outbreak. As a result, some oyster harvesting areas in British Columbia that were associated with the outbreak were closed as a part of the investigation.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued several food recalls throughout February, March, and April. Links to each food recall associated with this investigation can be found at the end of this public health notice.
The outbreak investigation is an important reminder to Canadians and businesses that raw oysters can carry harmful germs that can lead to foodborne illness if not properly handled and cooked prior to consuming.
In total, 339 confirmed cases of norovirus and gastrointestinal illness were reported in the following provinces: British Columbia (301), Alberta (3), Saskatchewan (1), Manitoba (15) and Ontario (19). Individuals became sick between mid-January and early April 2022, and no deaths were reported.
Some oyster harvest areas in British Columbia that were associated with illnesses in the outbreak were closed as a part of the investigation. The CFIA issued several food recalls throughout February, March, and April. For more information on the recalled products, please consult the Government of Canada’s Recalls and Safety Alerts website.
The U.S. CDC also investigated a multistate norovirus outbreak linked to raw oysters from British Columbia.
Who is most at risk
Acute gastrointestinal illnesses such as norovirus illness are common in North America and are very contagious, affecting all age groups. However, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, young children and the elderly are at risk for developing more serious complications, like dehydration.
What you should do to protect your health
Raw oysters contaminated with noroviruses may look, smell and taste normal. The following safe food-handling practices will reduce your risk of getting sick:
Do not eat, use, sell, or serve any recalled oysters.
Avoid eating raw or undercooked oysters. Cook oysters to an internal temperature of 90° Celsius (194° Fahrenheit) for a minimum of 90 seconds before eating.
Discard any oysters that did not open while cooking.
Eat oysters right away after cooking and refrigerate leftovers.
Always keep raw and cooked oysters separate to avoid cross-contamination.
Do not use the same plate or utensils for raw and cooked shellfish, and wash counters and utensils with soap and warm water after preparation.
Wash your hands well with soap before and after handling any food. Be sure to clean and sanitize cutting boards, counters, knives and other utensils after preparing raw foods.
Noroviruses can be transmitted by ill individuals and are able to survive relatively high levels of chlorine and varying temperatures. Cleaning and disinfecting practices are the key to preventing further illnesses in your home.
Thoroughly clean contaminated surfaces, and disinfect using chlorine bleach, especially after an episode of illness.
After vomiting or diarrhea, immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with the virus (use hot water and soap).
If you have been diagnosed with norovirus illness or any other gastrointestinal illness, do not prepare food or pour drinks for other people while you have symptoms, and for the first 48 hours after you recover.
People with norovirus illness usually develop symptoms of gastroenteritis within 24 to 48 hours, but symptoms can start as early as 12 hours after exposure. The illness often begins suddenly. Even after having the illness, you can still become re-infected by norovirus.
The main symptoms of norovirus illness are:
vomiting (children usually experience more vomiting than adults)
Other symptoms may include:
fatigue (a general sense of tiredness)
Most people feel better within one or two days, with symptoms resolving on their own, and experience no long-term health effects. As with any illness causing diarrhea or vomiting, people who are ill should drink plenty of liquids to replace lost body fluids and prevent dehydration. In severe cases, patients may need to be hospitalized and given fluids intravenously. If you have severe symptoms of norovirus, consult your healthcare provider.
What the Government of Canada is doing
The Government of Canada is committed to food safety. The Public Health Agency of Canada leads the human health investigation of an outbreak and is in regular contact with its federal and provincial partners to monitor and take collaborative steps to address outbreaks.
Health Canada provides food-related health risk assessments to determine whether the presence of a certain substance or microorganism poses a health risk to consumers.
The CFIA conducts food safety investigations into the possible food source of an outbreak. CFIA also monitors for biotoxins in shellfish in harvesting areas and is responsible for registering and inspecting fish and shellfish processing plants. The CFIA may recommend that affected sites or areas be opened or closed based on epidemiological information, sample testing results and/or relevant harvest area information.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for opening and closing shellfish harvest areas, and enforcing closures under the authority of the Fisheries Act and the Management of Contaminated Fishery Regulations.
Under the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program, Environment and Climate Change Canada monitors pollution sources and sanitary conditions in shellfish growing waters.
The Government of Canada will continue to update Canadians as new information related to this investigation becomes available.
Figure 1 is an epidemiological curve for this outbreak, which shows the numbers of new cases by week. Outbreak investigators use this information to show when illnesses begin, when they peak, and when they trail off. It can take several weeks from the time a person becomes ill to when the illness is reported and linked to the outbreak. Data are available for 339 cases.