Norwegian public health and food safety authorities have reported that at least 19 domestic cases of hepatitis A infection identified last month in the country may be linked to consumption of frozen berry mix cake imported from Germany.
The outbreak strain of the virus is reported to be the same as that involved in a much larger on-going outbreak that has so far affected more than 1,300 people in eleven European countries since January 2013. It is suspected that this larger outbreak is associated with imported frozen berries, but a specific source has not been identified. However, epidemiological evidence collected by investigators in Norway has established a link with a particular type of berry mix buttermilk cake that was eaten by at least 11 of those affected. Product samples are now being tested for hepatitis A virus contamination.
The implicated cake was imported frozen from Germany and was distributed to multiple catering operations across the country. The importer has withdrawn the product from the market and notified customers of the problem. International investigations are now under way to determine the source of the berries used in the suspect cake.
The Norwegian report can be found in full here.