mardi 7 juillet 2015


 RASFF [Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed] recently published its 2014 Annual Report. Here is what is said about viruses :


A significant rise in the notifications for norovirus in bivalve molluscs is largely attributable to 24 notifications on boiled clams from Vietnam. Problems with these clams were already signalled in 2013, when Salmonella was frequently detected in them.

Investigations showed that these clams were insufficiently heat treated to eliminate pathogens. Vietnam reported back that problems with the coastal water quality were the origin of the contamination and took measures to ensure clams were sourced from less contaminated waters.

The EC also obliged Vietnam to ensure that the clams were sufficiently cooked (90°C/90s) to eliminate pathogens.

Hepatitis A

The investigations into the foodborne outbreaks with hepatitis A in 2013 that could be linked to berries culminated in important efforts to collect backwards traceability information on the suspected products up to the farmer level. Because of the large incubation time before illness, many products needed to be investigated. The data were collected through templates prepared by EFSA that were based on the methodology worked out during the E. coli outbreak investigations of 2011. Data were stored on iRASFF in the form of three RASFF news items on the three outbreaks that started in 2013 in Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands.

In 2014 more cases of illness associated with the same virus strain were reported in Germany, Norway, Sweden and France and led to notifications by France (mixed frozen berries), Norway (berry but termilk cake) and Germany (frozen strawberries), extending the initial tracing dataset.

EFSA published a report on the analysis of the traceability data collected which aimed at finding the “hotspots” where the contamination has occurred along the production chain. A single source of contamination was not identified but a data model of the complex distribution chain was elaborated linking the various RASFF alerts with human cases of Hepatitis A via evidence from epidemiology and tracing of single lots of frozen berries.

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