A new report detailing the investigation into an outbreak of norovirus infection that caused almost 11,000 cases of gastroenteritis in Germany in September and October 2012 has recently been published.
This was the largest foodborne outbreak ever recorded in Germany and affected 390 institutions, mainly schools and childcare facilities. Virtually all were supplied by the same catering company, and epidemiological data suggested a link with dishes containing strawberries.
The implicated dishes had been prepared in a number of regional kitchens belonging to the company, but all of the strawberries were found to belong to a single lot, imported frozen from a supplier in China. A recall prevented half of the lot reaching the consumer, but the authors of the report comment that this event highlights the risk of large foodborne outbreaks in a globalised supply chain.
The report is published in the journal Eurosurveillance and can be found in full here.