The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has issued a warning to consumers to boil all frozen berries for at least one minute prior to eating, following a food poisoning outbreak of Hepatitis A virus associated with the consumption of some imported berries.
The FSAI said that ten cases of Hepatitis A virus have been identified in Ireland and half of these cases have been linked to the consumption of imported frozen berries. The warning comes following similar outbreaks in Italy and Scandinavia, also linked to imported frozen berries.
Prof. Alan Reilly, Chief Executive, FSAI said there was "no evidence" to suggest that fresh Irish or fresh imported berries are affected, but urged caution in all sectors.
“The source of this outbreak is not known yet, but all indications are pointing towards imported frozen berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants, blackberries and strawberries," he said.
"Frozen imported berries are widely used in the food industry and distributed into the food service sector for use in cooked and ready-to-eat dishes. The food sector needs to also take particular care to boil frozen imported berries for at least one minute prior to serving to its customers."