FDA Sampling Frozen Berries for Harmful Viruses

May 31, 2019 | Michelle Shapiro

Some people use frozen berries without first cooking them, increasing their risk of exposure to harmful viruses. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported three hepatitis A virus outbreaks and one norovirus outbreak linked to frozen berries in the United States from 1997 to 2016. The FDA began sampling frozen berries for each hazard as part of the agency’s efforts to protect consumers and ensure food safety.

The sampling assignment began in November and is estimated to last approximately 18 months. The agency is collecting domestic samples of frozen berries in retail packaging from processors, distribution centers, warehouses, and retail locations. The agency is also collecting import samples from ports of entry, importer warehouses, or other storage facilities where foreign goods are cleared for entry into the country. The FDA plans to collect and test 2,000 samples in all.

Frozen berries are used as ingredients in many foods without being cooked; cooking would reduce or eliminate potential contamination. Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are delicate and may become contaminated with bacteria or viruses if handled by an infected worker who does not use appropriate hand hygiene, or if exposed to contaminated agricultural water or a contaminated surface, like a harvesting tote. Freezing preserves berries but generally does not kill viruses, which can survive at low temperatures.

If the FDA detects hepatitis A virus or norovirus in a sample, the agency will notify the firm of the finding(s) and work with the firm to take appropriate action to protect the public health. Upon detecting a positive test result, the FDA may also take actions such as placing a firm on an import alert, overseeing a recall, or issuing public warnings.

The FDA will post the sampling results on its FY 19-20 Frozen Berries Assignment page on a quarterly basis and will publish an analytical report once the assignment is complete.

Learn more.


636530147572900000

About Michelle Shapiro

Michelle Shapiro is a communication specialist for the Environmental Health & Disability team at NACCHO.

More posts by Michelle Shapiro

Related Posts

PS21 Cover Slide
  • Training

Recap: 2021 Preparedness Summit

The 2021 Preparedness Summit, presented virtually April 13 to 15, offered the...

Apr 16, 2021 | Beth Hess

Recap: 2021 Preparedness Summit

Capitol Dome with Mic typeface display V3
  • Podcast

Podcast from Washington: Maternal and Child Health...

Ian Goldstein speaks with Susan Pinnock, nursing supervisor for the maternal,...

Apr 16, 2021 | Ian Goldstein

Podcast from Washington: Maternal and Child Health...

Syphylis strikes back 1
  • Tools & Resources
  • HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis

Congenital Syphilis on the Rise; 1,870 Cases are Up 279%...

Congenital syphilis (CS) is a disease that occurs when a pregnant person with...

Apr 16, 2021 | Shalesha Majors

Congenital Syphilis on the Rise; 1,870 Cases are Up 279%...

US Washington Capitol
  • COVID-19

Appropriations LHHS Subcommittee Holds Hearing with HHS...

On April 15, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Departments of Labor,...

Apr 15, 2021 | Cameron Etessami

Appropriations LHHS Subcommittee Holds Hearing with HHS...

Capitol bulding
  • COVID-19

House Subcommittee Holds COVID Hearing with Federal...

On April 15, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis held the...

Apr 15, 2021 | Cameron Etessami

House Subcommittee Holds COVID Hearing with Federal...

NTHTD
  • HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis

National Trans HIV Testing Day is April 18

CDC’s NHBS-Trans report found that 42% of transgender women surveyed in seven...

Apr 15, 2021 | Guest Author, Julia Zigman

National Trans HIV Testing Day is April 18

I Stock 1223120167
  • Access to Care
  • Health Equity & Social Justice

Black Maternal Health Week: Building Awareness

In the United States, Black women are 3-5 times more likely to die in...

Apr 15, 2021 | Adelaide Appiah

Black Maternal Health Week: Building Awareness

Coronavirus COVID 19
  • COVID-19
  • Tools & Resources
  • Webinar

Resource Roundup: New Guidance on Disinfection, Webinar...

See NACCHO’s roundup of EH and COVID-19 resources.

Apr 13, 2021 | Anu Varma

Resource Roundup: New Guidance on Disinfection, Webinar...

SDOH with labels
  • Tools & Resources
  • Community Health Assessment and Improvement Planning
  • Performance Improvement
  • Social Determinants of Health

NACCHO Launches New Toolkit to Guide Healthy People 2030...

This new tool will provide guidance in using the Healthy People 2030 objectives...

Apr 13, 2021 | Andrea Grenadier

NACCHO Launches New Toolkit to Guide Healthy People 2030...

Back to Top