Category Archives: Virus

New Zealand – Nationwide recall of Pams frozen berries as Hepatitis A infections rise to 12, several hospitalised

Stuff NZ

Another nine cases of hepatitis A have been detected with links to frozen berries, prompting a recall of half a dozen products from the Pams brand.

Pams – a New Zealand division of supermarket giant Foodstuffs – is recalling various frozen berry products as a precautionover a possible link to recent cases of the contagious virus.

Of the 12 cases found so far, seven have been hospitalised, including young, fit teenagers – not typically deemed at high risk from the illness, New Zealand Food Safety deputy director-general Vincent Arbuckle said.

The investigation into the source continues. Until, and unless, a definitive source is identified, the advice to heat-treat remains in place for all frozen berry products – regardless of brand, officials warned.

USA – More than 200 backpackers and rafters sickened in Grand Canyon National Park backcountry- Suspected Norovirus

Food Safety News

Between April 1 and June 17, 2022, at least 222 rafters and backpackers became infected with acute gastroenteritis, most likely norovirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is the largest outbreak of acute gastroenteritis documented in the Grand Canyon National Park backcountry.

Preliminary analysis of illness characteristics and portable toilet specimen test results suggested norovirus as the primary causative agent of illness. Norovirus spreads quickly through person-to-person contact and contaminated food or beverages and can persist in the environment. The bacteria can live for days to weeks on hard surfaces.

River outfitters and National Park staff members partnered to enable the implementation of prevention and control measures.

Norovirus-associated acute gastroenteritis is highly transmissible in settings with close person-to-person contact and decreased access to hand hygiene. Because many trips use the same campsites and place-portable toilets in the same locations, particles could have been transmitted to surfaces, beach sand or river water where new groups could have encountered them, and then transmitted the virus both from person-to-person and trip-to-trip.

RASFF Alert – Norovirus – Oysters –

RASFF

Norovirus (GI /2g) in live oysters (Crassostrea gigas) from France, via Netherlands in Finland

Research – Risk Assessment of Norovirus Transmission in Food Establishments

FDA

The Risk Assessment of Norovirus Transmission in Food Establishments: Evaluating the Impact of Intervention Strategies and Food Employee Behavior (Duret et al. 2017) evaluates the dynamics of norovirus transmission from ill or infected food employees in food establishments (restaurant setting) to ready-to-eat food and consumers during food preparation and also evaluates the impact of prevention strategies. A discrete event model was developed to study norovirus transmission from the soiled hands of ill or infected food employees and the impact of prevention strategies and their compliance on the prevalence of contaminated servings and the number of resulting infected customers.

The Evaluation of the Impact of Compliance with Mitigation Strategies and Frequency of Restaurant Surface Cleaning and Sanitizing on Control of Norovirus Transmission from Ill Food Employees Using an Existing Quantitative Risk Assessment Model (Fanaselle et al. 2022) uses the previously published FDA quantitative risk assessment model in Duret et al. 2017, to evaluate more than 60 scenarios examining the impact of implementation and compliance with recommendations in the FDA Food Code for: restaurant surface cleaning and sanitizing, hand hygiene and employee health.

France – Wakame Salad- Hepatitis E

Gov france

Identification information of the recalled product

  • Product category Feed
  • Product subcategory Others
  • Product brand name asian choice
  • Model names or referencesDV8010 225g Expiry date:25-07-2023
  • Identification of products
    GTIN Batch Date
    8717677865734 2111040038 Use-by date 07/25/2023
  • Marketing start/end date From 06/12/2021 to 15/02/2022
  • Storage temperature Product to keep in the freezer
  • Geographic area of ​​sale Saint Etienne
  • Distributors international store

Practical information regarding the recall

  • Reason for recall Presence of type E hepatitis
  • Risks incurred by the consumer Hepatitis E virus
  • Additional description of the risk there is a limited health risk of contamination by the virus.

New Zealand – Risk of Hepatitis A from frozen berries

MPI

New Zealand Food Safety is advising consumers, especially those with chronic liver damage, the elderly and pregnant people to consider extra precautions if eating frozen berries to minimise the risk of Hepatitis A, says New Zealand Food Safety deputy director-general Vincent Arbuckle.

Hepatitis A is relatively rare in New Zealand, but in 2015 imported frozen berries were linked to an outbreak of the disease.

“We have recently become aware of 3 cases of Hepatitis A, all of whom regularly consume imported frozen berries and are linked through virus genotyping.

“While there is not sufficient information on a specific brand to initiate a targeted product recall, the evidence from the cases and from international experience, indicates a risk of exposure to Hepatitis A from consuming imported frozen berries.

“Given we are moving towards the summer months where more frozen berries will be consumed, we considered it appropriate to remind consumers of these simple precautions.

“This is particularly the case for vulnerable communities for whom the consequences of becoming infected with the Hepatitis A virus can be serious.”

New Zealand Food Safety is advising people to be aware of the risks and if eating frozen berries to take the following precautions during pregnancy, if they are elderly or with chronic liver damage:

  • briefly boil frozen berries before eating them, or
  • ensure cooking temperatures exceed 85 degree Celsius for 1 minute.
  • wash your hands before eating and preparing food.

New Zealand has excellent systems to minimise risk throughout the supply chain and food businesses are verified to ensure the proper precautions are being taken, Mr Arbuckle says.

“In addition, imported berries are subject to a sampling and testing regime before being released for sale.

“However, we will never be able to completely eliminate any food safety risk from food for sale. That’s why we encourage consumers to consider extra precautions at home.

“The safety of consumers is our number 1 priority, and we will continue to monitor the situation with that in mind. As part of this, we are working with frozen berry suppliers to ensure they are aware of potential risks and are actively managing the issue.

“If we identify any evidence of a wider risk we will assess and take appropriate action, including product recalls.”

Research – Examining the Effect of Organic Acids on Inactivation of Hepatitis E Virus

Journal of Food Protection

Infection with hepatitis E virus genotype 3 (HEV-3) is an emerging cause of illness in developed countries. In North America and Europe, HEV-3 has been increasingly detected in swine, and exposure to pigs and pork products is considered the primary source of infection. We have previously demonstrated the prevalence of the HEV-3 genome in commercial pork products in Canada. In this study, we investigated the application of citric acid and acetic acid to inactivate HEV-3 on food and on food-contact surfaces. For this purpose, plastic, stainless steel and pork pâté surfaces were inoculated with HEV-3 and were treated with acetic acid or citric acid at 1%, 3%, or 5%. The infectivity of post treatment viral particles was determined by cell culture. A greater than 2-log reduction in viral infectivity was observed on plastic and stainless steel treated with the organic acids, but the treatment was much less effective on HEV infectivity on pork pâté (average reductions of 0.47 log citric acid, and 0.63 log acetic acid). Therefore, we conclude that citric acid and acetic acid have potential application to control HEV-3 on food contact surfaces, but are not suitable for food.

Spain – Alert for hepatitis A virus in frozen fruit from Belgium

ACSA

The Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition has informed the autonomous communities through the Coordinated System of Rapid Information Exchange of an alert notification transferred by the health authorities of Hungary, regarding the presence of Hepatitis A in frozen fruit, of the ARDO brand.

The product involved is the following:

  • Product: Mixture of frozen red berries
  • Product number (on the label): ARDO FRUIT BERRY MIX
  • Trademark: ARDO
  • Appearance, weight and packaging: 1Kg or 2.5Kg plastic packaging
  • Lot number: 58622130 and 58622131
  • Preferred consumption: May 2024
  • Storage temperature: frozen

This product has been alerted in the Coordinated System of Rapid Information Exchange. The manufacturing company and the distribution companies have initiated the withdrawal of the product from sale and the recovery of the product from consumers.

The competent authorities are verifying the withdrawal of the product affected by the marketing channels.

With the information available, there is evidence of a case notified in Hungary, associated with this alert.

It is recommended that people who have this product at home refrain from consuming it and return it to the point of sale.

Netherlands -Safety warning Ardo Forest fruit mix 1kg Coop -Hepatitis A

NVWA

Safety warning Ardo Forest fruit mix 1kg Coop

Coop warns against Ardo Forest Fruit Mix 1kg. The Hepatitis A virus has been found in the product. Do not eat the product!

See the Coop website

Which product is it?

  • Ardo Forest fruit mix
  • Best Before: 11/2024
  • Lot codes: 58622130 and 58622131

You can return the product to the store and receive a refund of the purchase amount. For questions you can call Ann Engelbert van Ardo on telephone number +32 51 31 06 21 (Belgium) or email info@ardo.com

Sincerely

The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority

Ireland – Recall of Specific Batches of Fit Foods Breakfast Club Porridge with Mixed Summer Berries Due to the Presence of Hepatitis A

FSAI

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Summary
Category 1: For Action
Alert Notification: 2022.54
Product: Fit Foods Breakfast Club Porridge with Mixed Summer Berries; pack size: 240g
Batch Code: Use by dates: 26/08/22 and 29/08/22
Country Of Origin: Ireland

Message:

Swift Fine Foods is recalling the above batches of its Fit Foods Breakfast Club Porridge with Mixed Summer Berries due to the presence of Hepatitis A. Point-of-sale recall notices will be displayed in stores supplied with the implicated batches.

Nature Of Danger:

Hepatitis A infection is an acute disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. Symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, and jaundice. Some people experience a fairly mild illness and recover within a couple of weeks. Other people develop more severe symptoms and may take months to fully recover. Older people are more likely to have more severe symptoms and some infected children do not have any symptoms at all. The incubation period (time between initial infection and first symptoms appearing) is on average 28 days but can range from 15 to 50 days.

Action Required:

Manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, caterers & retailers:

Retailers are requested to remove the implicated batches from sale and to display a point-of-sale recall notice in stores where the affected batches were sold.

Consumers:

Consumers are advised not to eat the implicated batches.

Fit Foods Porridge