Frozen imported raspberries cause norovirus outbreak at elderly care home

By Jenny Eagle contact

- Last updated on GMT

Picture credit; flickr
Picture credit; flickr

Related tags: Food, Immune system

The National Food Administration (NFA) in Sweden, has reported an outbreak of norovirus from imported frozen raspberries at an elderly care home in Ljungby.

Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause inflammation of the stomach and large intestine lining (gastroenteritis).

Raw fruits and vegetables

People become infected with noroviruses when they eat food or drink liquids that have been contaminated; raw or undercooked oysters and raw fruits and vegetables have been implicated in some outbreaks.

Mats Lindblad, infection control coordinator, NFA, told FoodQualityNews it is difficult to analyze the bacteria and the find is important even if the raspberries have already been identified as the likely source of infection.

That we actually found the norovirus confirms how important it is to follow food safety advice to always cook frozen imported raspberries​,” he said.

Smoothies, desserts and pastries

NFA found, during the outbreak the care home had served a raspberry parfait​.

"NFA advises members of the public to boil all imported frozen raspberries one minute before eating, to kill the virus​.

This is especially important for the elderly and people with compromised immune systems because they risk becoming seriously ill from a norovirus infection. Fresh raspberries and Swedish foreign raspberries have not been linked to the outbreak​.”

Lindblad added boiling produce also applies to companies and caterers who use frozen foreign raspberries as an ingredient in foods that will not be heat treated, for example, smoothies, desserts and pastries.

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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