Thursday 19 April 2018

Irish consumers warned to boil all frozen berries after life-threatening norovirus outbreak in Sweden

Frozen berries have been linked to norovirus in Sweden
Frozen berries have been linked to norovirus in Sweden
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

The Food Safety Authority (FSAI) has issued a reminder to Irish consumers to boil all frozen berries before consumption after being linked to an outbreak of norovirus in Sweden.

The virus caused more than 70 people to become ill in a Swedish nursing home after they consumed frozen berries as part of a dessert. Three deaths have reportedly been linked to this outbreak.

Although there is no evidence that the Serbian batches of implicated berries have been imported to Ireland the FSAI has warned Irish people to boil all frozen berries for at least a minute before eating them.

Dr Lisa O’Connor, Chief Specialist in Food Science, FSAI said: “There remains an ongoing risk in the global imported frozen berry supply chain. 

“We therefore continue to recommend that imported frozen berries should be boiled for at least one minute before they are eaten.  This precautionary measure will destroy the virus if it is present and is particularly important when serving these foods to vulnerable people such as nursing home residents. 

“While fresh berries have not been linked to these outbreaks, we remind consumers that - as with all other fruit and vegetables - they should always be washed thoroughly if they are being eaten uncooked.”

In Ireland, frozen berries have been linked to a break out in hepatitis A, which was investigated in 2013. The Irish outbreak corresponded to several throughout twelve European countries, all linked to the frozen fruit.

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