This publication serves as a reference for anyone concerned about the safety of fresh and frozen berry products. Providing information for those who grow, harvest, process, transport, and serve berries to consumers is important for improving science-based food safety programs for the entire supply chain. Table 1 lists the reported outbreaks of foodborne illness from 1983 through 2019 in which specific berries or mixed berries have been identified as the food vehicle. Table 2 lists the reported outbreaks in which berries were likely the food vehicle. This document is an update to the original 2013 publication.
Prior version: Palumbo, M., L. Harris, and Michelle Danyluk. 2013. “Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness Associated With Common Berries, 1983 through May 2013”. EDIS 2013 (11). https://doi.org/10.32473/edis-fs232-2013.
Associated Press. 2012. "Germany: Batch of Frozen Strawberries Blamed for Outbreak of Gastroenteritis in Schools." FoxNews.com. Accessed April 2013. https://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/10/06/germany-batch-frozen-strawberries-blamed-for-outbreak-gastroenteritis-in/.
Bourquin, L. 2012. "Strawberries Implicated in Massive German Norovirus Outbreak." Michigan State University Food Safety. Accessed April 2013. https://michiganstateuniversityfoodsafety.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/strawberries-implicated-in-massive-german-norovirus-outbreak/.
Calder, L., G. Simmons, C. Thornley, P. Taylor, K. Pritchard, G. Greening, and J. Bishop. 2003. "An Outbreak of Hepatitis A Associated with Consumption of Raw Blueberries." Epidemiol. Infect. 131 (1): 745-751. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0950268803008586
Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). 2012. "Health Hazard Alert - Certain Western Family Brand Pomeberry Blend berries may contain Hepatitis A virus." Accessed April 2013. http://www.inspection.gc.ca/about-the-cfia/newsroom/food-recalls-and-allergy-alerts/complete-listing/2012-04-05/eng/1355956873367/1355956873399.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 1996. "Update: Outbreaks of Cyclospora cayetanensis Infection-United States and Canada, 1996." MMWR Weekly 45 (28): 611-612. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00043133.htm.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 1997a. "Hepatitis A Associated with Consumption of Frozen Strawberries-Michigan, March 1997." MMWR Weekly 46 (13): 288-295. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00047129.htm.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 1997b. "Update: Outbreaks of Cyclosporiasis-United States, 1997." MMWR Weekly 46 (21): 461-462. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00047716.htm.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 1997c. "Outbreak of Cyclosporiasis-Northern Virginia-Washington, D.C.-Baltimore, Maryland, Metropolitan Area." MMWR Weekly 46 (30): 689-691. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00048551.htm.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 1998. "Outbreak of Cyclosporiasis-Ontario, Canada." MMWR Weekly 47 (38): 806-809. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00055016.htm.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2013. "Multistate Outbreak of Hepatitis A Potentially Associated with a Frozen Berry Blend Food Product." Accessed June 2013. https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/Outbreaks/2013/A1b-03-31/index.html.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2018. "National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS)." Accessed November 2019. https://wwwn.cdc.gov/norsdashboard/.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2019. "U.S. Foodborne Outbreaks of Cyclosporiasis - 2000-2017." Accessed November 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/cyclosporiasis/outbreaks/foodborneoutbreaks.html.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2020a. "Notes from the Field: Multiple Cruise Ship Outbreaks of Norovirus Associated with Frozen Fruits and Berries - United States, 2019." Accessed April 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6916a3.htm?s_cid=mm6916a3_e&deliveryName=USCDC_921-DM26466.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2020b. "Outbreak of Hepatitis A Virus Infections Potentially Linked to Fresh Blackberries." Accessed April 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/outbreaks/2019/hav-berries/index.htm
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. 2013. "May 31: Hepatitis A Outbreak Associated with Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend Frozen Berries Purchased from Costco." Accessed June 2013. https://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?c=Page&childpagename=CDPHE-Main%2FCBONLayout&cid=1251643026247&pagename=CBONWrapper.
Cotterelle, B., C. Drougard, J. Rolland, M. Becamel, M. Boudon, S. Pinede, O. Traore, K. Balay, P. Pothier, and E. Espie. 2005. "Outbreak of Norovirus Infection Associated with the Consumption of Frozen Raspberries, France, March 2005." Euro Surveill. 10 (4): E050428.1. https://doi.org/10.2807/esw.10.17.02690-en
DW.de. 2012. "Blame Falls on Strawberries in German Mass Food Poisoning." DW.de website. Accessed April 2013. https://www.dw.de/blame-falls-on-strawberries-in-german-mass-food-poisoning/a-16288862-1 .
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and European Food Safety Agency (EFSA). 2013a. "Epidemiological Update: Outbreak of Hepatitis A Virus Infection in Four Nordic Countries". Accessed April 2020. https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/news-events/epidemiological-update-outbreak-hepatitis-virus-infection-four-nordic-countries
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and European Food Safety Agency (EFSA). 2013b. "Outbreak of Hepatitis A Virus Infection in Residents and Travellers to Italy." Accessed June 2013. https://www.foodsafetynews.com/files/2013/06/439e.pdf.
Falkenhorst, G., L. Krusell, M. Lisby, S. B. Madsen, B. Bottiger, and K. Molbak. 2005. "Imported Frozen Raspberries Cause a Series of Norovirus Outbreaks in Denmark, 2005." Euro Surveill. 10 (9): E050922.2. https://doi.org/10.2807/esw.10.38.02795-en
FDA (US Food and Drug Administration). "Microbial Surveillance Sampling: FY 19-20 Frozen Berries (Strawberries, Raspberries and Blackberries)." Accessed April 2020. https://www.fda.gov/food/sampling-protect-food-supply/microbiological-surveillance-sampling-fy-19-20-frozen-berries-strawberries-raspberries-and.
Fell, G., M. Boyens, and S. Baumgarte. 2007. "Frozen Berries as a Risk Factor for Outbreaks of Norovirus Gastroenteritis. Results of an Outbreak Investigation in the Summer of 2005 in Hamburg." Bundesgesundheitsblatt - Gesundheitsforschung - Gesundheitsschutz 50 (2): 230-236. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00103-007-0142-9
Fleming, C. A., D. Caron, J. E. Gunn, and M. A. Barry. 1998. "A Foodborne Outbreak of Cyclospora cayetanensis at a Wedding: Clinical Features and Risk Factors for Illness." Arch. Intern. Med. 158 (10): 1121-1125. https://doi.org/10.1001/archinte.158.10.1121
Food Safety News. 2012. "Chinese Strawberries Sickened Thousands of German Students." Accessed April 2013. https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/10/german-students-got-sick-on-chinese-strawberries/.
Gillesberg Lassen, S., B. Soborg, S. E. Midgley, A. Steens, L. Vold, K. Stene-Johansen, R. Rimhanen-Finne, M. Kontio, M. Löfdahl, L. Sundqvist, M. Edelstein, T. Jensen, H. T. Vestergaard, T. K. Fischer, K. Mølbak, and S. Ethelberg. 2013. "Ongoing Multi-strain Food-borne Hepatitis A Outbreak with Frozen Berries as Suspected Vehicle: Four Nordic Countries Affected, October 2012 to April 2013." Euro Surveill. 18 (17): pii=20467. https://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=20467.
Herwaldt, B. L. 2000. "Cyclospora cayetanensis: A Review, Focusing on Outbreaks of Cyclosporiasis in the 1990s." Clin. Infect. Dis. 31 (4): 1040-1057. https://doi.org/10.1086/314051
Herwaldt, B. L., and M. L. Ackers. 1997. "An Outbreak in 1996 of Cyclosporiasis Associated with Imported Raspberries." N. Engl. J. Med. 336: 1548-1556. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJM199705293362202
Herwaldt, B. L., and M. J. Beach. 1999. "The Return of Cyclospora in 1997: Another Outbreak of Cyclosporiasis in North America Associated with Imported Raspberries. Cyclospora Working Group." Ann. Intern. Med. 130 (3): 210-220. https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-130-3-199902020-00006
Hjertqvist, M., A. Johansson, N. Svensson, P. E. Abom, C. Magnusson, M. Olsson, K. O. Hedlund, and Y. Andersson. 2006. "Four Outbreaks of Norovirus Gastroenteritis after Consuming Raspberries, Sweden, June-August 2006." Euro Surveill. 11 (9): E060907.1. https://doi.org/10.2807/esw.11.36.03038-en
Ho, A. Y., A. S. Lopez, M. G. Eberhard, R. Levenson, B. S. Finkel, A. J. da Silva, J. M. Roberts, P. A. Orlandi, C. C. Johnson, and B. L. Herwaldt. 2002. "Outbreak of Cyclosporiasis Associated with Imported Raspberries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2000." Emerg. Infect. Dis. 8 (8): 783-788. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid0808.020012
Hutin, Y. J. F., V. Pool, E. H. Cramer, O. V. Nainan, J. Weth, I. T. Williams, S. T. Goldstein, K. F. Gensheimer, B. P. Bell, C. N. Shapiro, M. J. Alter, and H. S. Margolis. 1999. "A Multistate, Foodborne Outbreak of Hepatitis A." New Eng. J. Med. 340 (8): 595-602. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJM199902253400802
Katz, D., S. Kumar, J. Malecki, M. Lowdermilk, E. H. Koumans, and R. Hopkins. 1999. "Cyclosporiasis Associated with Imported Raspberries, Florida, 1996." Public Health Rep. 114 (5): 427-438. https://doi.org/10.1093/phr/114.5.427
Korsager, B., S. Hede, H. Boggild, B. E. Bottiger, and K. Molbak. 2005. "Two Outbreaks of Norovirus Infections Associated with the Consumption of Imported Frozen Raspberries, Denmark, May-June 2005." Euro Surveill. 10 (6): E050623.1. https://doi.org/10.2807/esw.10.25.02729-en
Koumans, E. H., D. J. Katz, J. M. Malecki, S. Kumar, S. P. Wahlquist, M. J. Arrowood, A. W. Hightower, and B. L. Herwaldt. 1998. "An Outbreak of Cyclosporiasis in Florida in 1995: A Harbinger of Multistate Outbreaks in 1996 and 1997." Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 59 (2): 235-242. https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.1998.59.235
Luna, R. E., and R. Mody. 2010. "Non-O157 Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli (STEC) Outbreaks, United States." CDC Memo to Record. Accessed April 2013. https://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/files/2010/05/nono157stec_obs_052110.pdf.
Marler-Clark, LLP. 2012. "Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database." Accessed April 2013. http://outbreakdatabase.com/details/pomeberry-blend-frozen-berries-2012/?outbreak=berries&vehicle=berries.
Maunula, L., M. Roivainen, M. Keranen, S. Makela, K. Soderberg, M. Summa, C. H. von Bonsdorff, M. Lappalainen, T. Korhonen, M. Kuusi, and T. Niskanen. 2009. "Detection of Human Norovirus from Frozen Raspberries in a Cluster of Gastroenteritis Outbreaks." Euro Surveill. 14 (49): pii:19435.
Miller, B. D., C. E. Rigdon, T. J. Robinson, C. Hedberg, and K. E. Smith. 2013. "Use of Global Trade Item Numbers in the Investigation of a Salmonella Newport Outbreak Associated with Blueberries in Minnesota, 2010." J. Food Prot. 76 (5): 762-769. https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-12-407
Murrow, L. B., P. Blake, and L. Kreckman. 2002. "Outbreak of Cyclosporiasis in Fulton County, Georgia." Georgia Epidemiol. Rep. 18 (1): 1-2.
Niu, M. T., L. B. Polish, B. H. Robertson, B. K. Kanna, B. A. Woodruff, C. N. Shapiro, M. A. Miller, J. D. Smith, J. K. Gedrose, M. J. Alter, and H. S. Margolis. 1992. "Multistate Outbreak of Hepatitis A Associated with Frozen Strawberries." J. Infect. Dis. 166 (3): 518-524. https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/166.3.518
Pönkӓ, A., L. Maunula, C. H. von Bonsdorff, and O. Lyytikӓinen. 1999a. "Outbreak of Calicivirus Gastroenteritis Associated with Eating Frozen Raspberries." Euro. Surveill. 4 (6): 66-69. https://doi.org/10.2807/esm.04.06.00056-en
Pönkӓ, A., L. Maunula, C. H. von Bonsdorff, and O. Lyytikӓinen. 1999b. "An Outbreak of Calicivirus Associated with Consumption of Frozen Raspberries." Epidemiol. Infect. 123 (3): 469-474. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0950268899003064
Oregon Public Health. 2011. "Fresh Strawberries from Washington County Farm Implicated in E. coli O157 outbreak in NW Oregon." Accessed September 2013. http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ArchiveRecalls/2011/ucm267667.htm
Ramsay, C. N., and P. A. Upton. 1989. "Hepatitis A and Frozen Raspberries." Lancet 1 (8628): 43-44. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(89)91698-X
Reid, T. M. S., and H. G. Robinson. 1987. "Frozen Raspberries and Hepatitis A." Epidemiol. Infect. 98 (1): 109-112. https://doi.org/10.1017/S095026880006177X
Rothschild, M. 2012. "BC Issues Warning about Pomeberry Frozen Berries." Food Safety News. Accessed April 2013. https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/04/bc-issues-warning-about-pomeberry-frozen-berries/.
Sarvikivi, E., M. Roivainen, L. Maunula, T. Niskanen, T. Korhonen, M. Lappalainen, and M. Kuusi. 2012. "Multiple Norovirus Outbreaks Linked to Imported Frozen Raspberries." Epidemiol. Infect. 140 (2): 260-267. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0950268811000379
Terry, L. 2011. "Oregon Confirms Deer Droppings Caused E. coli Outbreak Tied to Strawberries." The Oregonian. Accessed September 2013. http://www.oregonlive.com/washingtoncounty/index.ssf/2011/08/oregon_confirms_deer_droppings.html.