Boil your berries, food authority warns

Frozen berries are believed to be the source of infection of the liver disease Hepatitis A


Frozen berries appear to be the culprit behind the 30 infections of Hepatitis A since October 2012, according to the infectious disease institute, Statens Serum Institut, the Technical University of Denmark, DTU, and the national food authorities, Fødevarestyrelsen.


As it takes up to 50 days from the contraction of Hepatitis A before the appearance of symptoms, it is difficult to determine the exact source of infection. As a result, Statens Serum Institut, DTU and Fødevarestyrelsen have been speaking with the infected individuals, and checking their receipts and credit card information.


According to Anette Perge from Fødevarestyrelsen, frozen berries are under suspicion as they showed up on the purchasing records and are known to be a source of virus infections.


“Statens Serum Institut has carried out some studies on infected and healthy people and have found that the infected people have eaten more frozen berries than the healthy ones,” Perge told The Copenhagen Post.


As bacteria survive even when frozen, Fødevarestyrelsen is advising consumers to cook or boil their berries before eating them. It is a legal requirement that cafés, restaurants and other eateries boil their frozen berries for at least one minute before serving.