Norovirus and hepatitis A risk

Some packages of frozen berries have been recalled from the market due to biological risk: during checks the health authorities found the possible presence of Norovirus and hepatitis A virus. The recall was ordered by the Ministry of Health.

The brands and batches affected by the recall

The ministry recommends not consuming the affected lots. The following products were withdrawn from supermarket shelves with a provision dated 7 April 2024:

  • Company name: Versilfungo SpA of via dei Ghivizzani 84, Camaiore, 55041, (Lucca);
    Product branding: Versilfood;
    Product: Mixed woodland;
    Lots withdrawn: 02AUIE And 03AUIE (1 kg with expiry 30/12/2025), 17MTIE And 29MTIE (1 kg with expiration 30/10/2025), 03AURG (450 grams with expiration 12/30/2025), 30MTID (350 grams with expiration 30/10/2025), 03AUID (350 grams with expiration 30/12/2025), 03AURO (300 grams with expiration 12/30/2025), 17MITER And 30MTRO (300 grams with expiry 30/10/2025) and finally 19NTRO plus 20NTRO and 22NTRO (300 grams with expiry 30/11/2025).
  • Company name: Versilfungo SpA of via dei Ghivizzani 84, Camaiore, 55041, (Lucca);
    Product branding: Heart of choice;
    Mrodotto: Berries;
    withdrawn lots: 02AUSB (450 grams with expiration 12/30/2025), 16MTSB (450 grams with expiration 10/30/2025) and finally 21NTSB (450 grams with expiration 30/11/2025).

These are the two brands and lots affected by the recall. All other lots not expressly indicated by the ministry are to be considered safe.

What is Norovirus

As specified by the website of the Higher Institute of Health, Noroviruses are viral agents belonging to the Caliciviridae family. They represent one of the most widespread agents of acute gastroenteritis of non-bacterial origin. They have a period of incubation what's going from 12 to 48 hours. The infection tough from 12 to 60 hours and presents the classic symptoms of gastroenteritis, i.e. nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and sometimes even a few lines of fever.

What is hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is caused by the HAV virus that reproduces in liver cells. It causes fever, widespread malaise, nausea, abdominal pain and jaundice, accompanied by elevations in transaminases and bilirubin. The illness passes generally by himself without leaving any traces and it is often asymptomatic, especially among the younger ones. It has a low mortality rate of between 0.1% and 0.3%, but which reaches 1.8% among patients over 50. The hepatitis A virus can be transmitted by water or food contaminated by people who may not have symptoms, but who shed the virus through their feces. A 2022 report identified tell-tale symptoms of hepatitis A in children.

Here our focus on Norovirus and hepatitis A virus, how they are transmitted and how to prevent them.

How to consume frozen berries

The Ministry of Health specifies that the safest way to consume frozen berries is to make them boil for at least 2 minutesso as to eliminate any possible risk of contamination.

Last February, Lidl, without the intervention of the ministry led by Orazio Schillaci, had on its own initiative announced the immediate withdrawal of a batch of frozen giant American blueberries under the Freshona brand.

Among the latest health alarms, a batch of brown rice recalled due to traces of chemical products.