Foreign frozen raspberries are recommended to be heated before eating

8.6.2009

<p> <strong>National Food Safety Authority Evira recommends that foreign frozen raspberries always be properly heated before use. Norovirus epidemics have occurred in different parts of Finland over the spring and the cause is suspected to be foreign frozen raspberries used in cakes without heating.</strong> </p>

Evira urges consumers and mass caterers to check the origin of frozen raspberries and to only use foreign raspberries after adequate heating in order to avoid food poisoning. Frozen raspberries of foreign origin should be heated for at least two minutes at 90 degrees Celcius.

The country of origin has to be indicated on the labelling of foods if the omission to do so could mislead the consumer. The country of origin should particularly be checked for foreign raspberries packed in Finland.

Viruses can gain access into the berries through e.g. contaminated water. The freezing process keeps the viruses alive and contagious. If the berries are used as such or only slightly heated after defrosting, the viruses are not destroyed.

The analysis of foods for viruses is extremely difficult and routine methods are not available at food laboratories for viral analyses of berries. The development of a method is under progress.

Heating is also recommended for some other frozen berries of foreign origin, if they are served to persons in risk groups, such as elderly people, children or persons with impaired resistance.

For more information, please contact:
Taina Niskanen, Senior Officer, tel. +358 (0) 20 77 24318, +358 (0) 50 386 8421, taina.niskanen at-merkki-kapea.gifevira.fi

 

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