In Canada, Mantab Inc. is recalling Below Zero brand Frozen Whole Raspberries from the marketplace due to possible Norovirus contamination. The recalled product was sold in Quebec, Saskatchewan and Ontario.
These are 1kg bags of Below Zero IQF Whole Raspberries, Lot #: XT21253, PO #: M14475, BB: 2023-SE-09, 0 69821 06020 4
Consumers, retailers and restaurants should check to see if they have the recalled products in their homes or establishments. Recalled products should be discarded or returned to where purchased.
Reminders on Norovirus
Norovirus is one of five extant genera of the family Caliciviridae. To date, there are 7 genogroups subdivided into several genotypes, but some strains still remain unclassified. The name first mentions the genogroup, then the genotype (example: genogroup II genotype 4, called GII.4). Norwalk virus (GI.1) was the first norovirus visualized using immunoelectromicroscopy techniques.
Noroviruses of genogroups I, II and IV are responsible for infection in humans. Noroviruses are very resistant in the external environment and have a great ability to survive on surfaces.
Humans are the reservoir of human Noroviruses, which are excreted in large quantities in the stools of infected people. These viruses persist in the external environment and are resistant to certain purification treatments, whether physical or chemical. Heavy rains reduce the residence time of wastewater in treatment plants, allowing a greater release of viral particles into the treated water.
Transmission to humans can occur by having direct contact with a sick person, by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with Norovirus and then putting their fingers in their mouth, or by consuming food or liquids contaminated with Norovirus. Noroviruses (food can be contaminated at source such as oysters or during preparation by infected staff).
After contamination, incubation, which can vary from 4 to 77 hours, is on average 24 to 48 hours. Norovirus infection is characterized by a picture combining nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, moderate fever and abdominal pain, and the asymptomatic rate has been estimated at around 20%. In general, the illness lasts from one to three days. Virus shedding in the stool can be seen up to 3 weeks after the onset of illness. Dehydration is the most important complication of the infection. It occurs mostly in very young children, the elderly, and people with serious pre-existing illness. In immunocompromised subjects, noroviruses can be responsible for sometimes severe chronic infections with prolonged excretion of the virus in the stool.
Noroviruses are the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis at all ages. They often appear in the form of epidemics which, in temperate countries, occur mainly in winter. Norovirus infections are community-based, but are also a significant problem in medical institutions. GII.4 noroviruses cause 60 to 80% of norovirus gastroenteritis epidemics in Europe, North America and Asia. These are more particularly epidemics linked to person-to-person transmission. Epidemiological data from the last two decades have shown that GII.4 noroviruses are distributed in successive epidemic variants with the replacement of one variant by another every 2 to 4 years from the 2000s. GII.4 have not always been systematically predominant and genotypes GII.3, GII.6 or GII.12 are found sporadically in epidemics or in isolated outbreaks. Recently, studies have reported the emergence of a new epidemic strain of Norovirus of genotype GII.17 first observed in Asia before spreading to all continents.
Norovirus is the virus most frequently responsible for TIAC. Contamination of food occurs through contaminated water or when food is handled by a person carrying the norovirus. Noroviruses are thought to be involved in 10 to 26% of TIACs. All types of food can be involved. TIACs are due to noroviruses of genotype II other than GII.4, and in 37% of cases, TIACs are mixed infections where the GII.4 genotype is incriminated. GI noroviruses are generally associated with epidemics of food, water or environmental origin because they are supposed to be more resistant to environmental factors than GII noroviruses. GI noroviruses are thus often found in epidemics following the consumption of raw shellfish.
The diagnosis is made on a stool sample taken during the acute phase of the disease. Rapid tests that detect norovirus antigens can be used, but molecular biology techniques are widely used.
Treatment: There is no specific treatment available, and there is currently no commercial vaccine against Norovirus.
For travellers, the basis of prevention is based on observing food hygiene rules, namely:
- wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before taking food or after going to the toilet;
- avoid the use of collective towels;
- eat only food that is cooked and still hot;
- avoid eating food served at room temperature;
- avoiding the consumption of fish, shellfish, or seafood other than well-cooked or fried;
- carefully peel, otherwise cook or disinfect fruits and vegetables;
- avoid dairy products and unpasteurized fruit juices;
- drink only capsulated bottled mineral water or water treated (by chlorination, by Troclosene sodium or by boiling);
- carbonated drinks in unopened sealed commercial bottles or cans and drinks made from boiled water served very hot such as coffee and tea are generally safe;
- do not consume ice cubes, ice creams or sorbets on wild sale.
Source : Food Safety News.