Boil berries? Hepatitis A outbreak spreads to Ireland; tracking global trail of frozen berries

It’s enough to turn me even more off frozen berries.

On July 19, Ireland said to boil frozen berries after 10 people were confirmed with the same strain of Hepatitis A linked to 448 illnesses in Italy.

According to the Irish Times, the outbreak of hepatitis A related to frozen berries has been monitored by the European Centre for frozen-berriesDisease Control since January, and it issued an assessment report on July 10th asking other EU countries “to raise awareness of a possible increase” in hepatitis A cases. In the report, the centre referred to three Irish people infected, “between 30 and 40 years of age, residents in three different geographic regions with no known links to each other.”

The chief executive of the FSAI, Prof Alan Reilly, said the decision was taken to only issue a warning July 19 because of the jump in cases this week. “You have to make a judgment call on when to inform the public.”

The Italians – 448 sick — fingered mixed berries (redcurrant, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries) and a dealer that received consignments of berries from different countries (mix made in Italy, with raw material from Bulgaria, Canada, Poland, and Serbia).

The Nords – 103 sick  fingered frozen strawberries as the likely cause but could not exclude other frozen berries. The origin of the berries is still being investigated.

The Americans – 151 sick — fingered a common shipment of pomegranate seeds from a company in Turkey, Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading, and will detain shipments of pomegranate seeds from Goknur arriving into the U.S. Those pomegranate melon.berriesseeds were used by Townsend Farms to make the Townsend Farms and Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Blends and by Scenic Fruit Company to make the Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels.

The srains of Hepatitis A in the Nordic and American outbreaks appear to be different from each other and from the Italian-Ireland outbreak.

On 20 June in Italy a shipment of Romanian blueberries was discovered to be contaminated with hepatitis A. “The responsible agency in Romania looked at the suppliers and then claimed that the blueberry export from Romania was completely in agreement with the European standard. The manager of one of these agencies was of the opinion that the contamination with hepatitis possibly had taken place in Italy.”

Russia found norovirus in frozen raspberries originating in Poland.

Water contaminated with human sewage, or night soil as the source in all these outbreaks?