mardi 23 juin 2015

Egyptian Strawberries contaminated by Norovirus

A recent RASFF [Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed] alert reports a contamination by Norovirus of imported strawberries from Egypt.


 Egyptian Strawberries

Based on FAOSTATS from 2012, Egypt is the fourth world producer of strawberries.

Strawberry Production 2012
(metric tonnes : mT)

% Total ww
1 USA 1,312,960 mT 30.4%
2 Turkey 302,416 mT 7.0%
3 Spain 262,730 mT 6.0%
4 Egypt 240,284 mT 5.5%
5 Mexico 228,900 mT 5.3%

Strawberries : A growing consumption

During the last two decades, strawberry consumption has seen the strongest consumption rate amongst fruits and vegetables. In the US, strawberries are the fifth most consumed fruit.

Strawberries : China, a major player

Although China does not communicate on its stats at FAO level, it is estimated that its production is 1,7 time bigger than the one in the US, the first producer. On October 6th, 2012,we were publishing an information about a major contamination by norovirus on strawberries imported by Sodexo [see article (in french)].

Strawberries contaminated by Norovirus

The RASFF alert on Norovirus 2015.0760 implicates 6 european countries, to whom vers lesquels ont été distribués les produits, importés via l'Allemagne.

Is water quality to be questioned?

As indicated on the RASFF report, the frozen contaminated strawberries were cleaned (frozen cleaned strawberries), which might indicate the potentially poor quality of the water used for cleaning process, or mixed-use with pesticides [Read article dd March 2014].

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