Category Archives: Virus

RASFF Alert – Food Poisoning – Norovirus – Frozen Wedge Clams


RASFF – food poisoning suspected to be caused by norovirus GII in frozen wedge clams (Donax trunculus) from Turkey in Spain

Research – Hepatitis E virus genotype 3 strains and a plethora of other viruses detected in raw and still in tap water

Science Direct

In this study, next generation sequencing was used to explore the virome in 20L up to 10,000L water from different purification steps at two Swedish drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs), and in tap water. One DWTP used ultrafiltration (UF) with 20 nm pores, the other UV light treatment after conventional treatment of the water. Viruses belonging to 26 different families were detected in raw water, in which 6–9 times more sequence reads were found for phages than for known environmental, plant or vertebrate viruses. The total number of viral reads was reduced more than 4-log10 after UF and 3-log10 over UV treatment. However, for some viruses the reduction was 3.5-log10 after UF, as for hepatitis E virus (HEV), which was also detected in tap water, with sequences similar to those in raw water and after treatment. This indicates that HEV had passed through the treatment and entered into the supply network. However, the viability of the viruses is unknown. In tap water 10–130 International Units of HEV RNA/mL were identified, which is a comparable low amount of virus. The risk of getting infected through consumption of tap water is probably negligible, but needs to be investigated. The HEV strains in the waters belonged to subtypes HEV3a and HEV3c/i, which is associated with unknown source of infection in humans infected in Sweden. None of these subtypes are common among pigs or wild boar, the major reservoirs for HEV, indicating that water may play a role in transmitting this virus. The results indicate that monitoring small fecal/oral transmitted viruses in DWTPs may be considered, especially during community outbreaks, to prevent potential transmission by tap water.

USA – Hepatitis A “hat trick” – food service workers in Virginia, Indiana and Georgia putting patrons at risk

Food Poison Journal

Virginia: According to the Peninsula Health District, people who consumed food from Mr. C’s Pizza & Subs, located at 493 Wythe Creek Road, between September 12 through 21, September 30 and October 1 may have been exposed to the disease.

The PHD said risk to the public from this exposure is low, and there is no indication of any food products at this restaurant being the source of the infection.

If you have not been previously vaccinated and have never had hepatitis A, you are susceptible to the disease, and may be at risk if you ate anything from Mr. C’s Pizza & Subs on the dates mentioned above. Hepatitis A vaccines are available at various urgent care clinics and pharmacies and can be received at the PHD for free or at a reduced cost.

USA – Cornerstone Premium Foods Voluntarily Recalls Frozen Blackberries Due to Possible Health Risk of Norovirus


Cornerstone Premium Foods of Syracuse, New York is recalling a specific lot of product containing frozen blackberries (noted below) due to the potential of being contaminated with Norovirus. FDA testing of frozen blackberries was reported to have tested positive for Norovirus.

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus. Consumption of product contaminated with Norovirus may cause acute onset of symptoms of gastroenteritis including severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Less common symptoms are low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and fatigue. Although most symptoms end within 48 hours, the elderly, young children and immunocompromised persons may develop prolonged, or more severe symptoms.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this recall. Impacted retailers have removed these products from store shelves. The FDA and the company continue to investigate the source of the issue.

Specific lot information is as follows:


UPC Code

Lot Number

Expiry Date

Distribution Dates

16 oz Cornerstone Frozen Blackberries 8 55104 00765 9 GC 1 1092 9 April, 2021 4/2/2019-8/7/2019

Consumers who have purchased the products are urged to destroy or urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Cornerstone Premium Foods at 1-800-333-0949, Monday – Friday, 8:00AM – 5:00PM EST.

This product was sold to various retailers in NY, MA, PA, ME, FL, AL, WI, CT, and WV.

Label, Cornerstone Frozen Blackberries

Australia – Byul Mi Kim Chi — Byul Mi Salted Clams 150g – Hepatitis A


Photograph of Byul Mi Salted Clams 150g

What are the defects?

The recall is due to possible microbial (Hepatitis A virus) contamination.

What are the hazards?

Food products contaminated with Hepatitis A virus may cause illness if consumed.

What should consumers do?

Consumers must not eat this product and anyone concerned about their health should seek medical advice.

Return affected product to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Further information is available from Byul Mi Kim Chi on 0410 596 688.

Byul Mi Kim Chi
Traders who sold this product

Korean grocery stores in NSW

Where the product was sold
New South Wales

Recall advertisements and supporting documentation

Coordinating agency

Food Standards Australia New Zealand is the coordinating agency for this recall.

USA – Worker Diagnosed With Hepatitis A At Yumcious Donuts in Philadelphia

Food Poisoning Bulletin

A food worker at Yumcious Donuts at the Quick Stop at 3001 Kensington Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to news reports. That person worked at that location between August 20, 2019 and September 4, 2019.

While the risk of contracting the illness is “very low” according to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, they are recommending that anyone who ate there within the last two weeks get vaccinated against the pathogenic virus. Unfortunately, at this time everyone who ate there when the worker was contagious is past the two week window when the vaccine is effective.

USA – Surveillance for Foodborne Disease Outbreaks, United States, 2017 Annual Report


  • Highlights
  • In 2017, 841 foodborne disease outbreaks were reported, resulting in 14,481 illnesses, 827 hospitalizations, 20 deaths, and 14 food product recalls.
  • Norovirus was the most common cause of confirmed, single-etiology outbreaks, accounting for 140 (35%) outbreaks and 4,092 (46%) illnesses. Salmonella
    was the next most common cause, accounting for 113 (29%) outbreaks and 3,007 (34%) illnesses, followed by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, which caused 19 (5%) outbreaks and 513 (6%) illnesses, and Clostridium perfringens, which
    caused 19 (5%) outbreaks and 478 (5%) illnesses.
  • Mollusks (41 outbreaks), fish (37), and chicken (23) were the most common single food categories implicated. The most outbreak associated illnesses were from turkey (609 illnesses), fruits (521), and chicken (487).
  • As reported in previous years, restaurants (489) outbreaks, 64% of outbreaks for which a single location of preparation was reported), specifically
    restaurants with sit-down dining (366, 48%), were the most commonly reported locations of food preparation associated with outbreaks.