Frozen Berries Recalled for Potential Norovirus Risk
WinCo Foods has issued a recall for 12-ounce bags of its house-label frozen red raspberries due to potential norovirus contamination. According to a report in The Oregonian, the recall affects raspberries made by Rader Farms in Bellingham, Washington. The berries were distributed to WinCo stores in several states including Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, Texas and Utah.
So far, no customer illnesses have been reported. The potential contamination was discovered when Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials tested the products. Customers who have purchased the recalled berries are urged to destroy the products or return them to a store for a refund.
Norovirus is a contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea among other symptoms. Individuals can contract norovirus from having direct contact with the infected person; by consuming food and/or water containing the pathogen; and by touching contaminated surfaces then putting your unwashed hands in your mouth.
Some of the common symptoms include vomiting, non-bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever and headaches. Most symptoms end within 48 hours. The elderly, young children and individuals with compromised immune systems can experience prolonged illness and the most severe symptoms.
There are a number of steps you can take to prevent a norovirus infection:
- Handwashing: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water especially after using the toilet or changing diapers. Also, wash your hands well before eating preparing or handling food and before giving yourself or someone else medicine.
- Safe food preparation: Wash produce carefully before preparing and eating them. Cook shellfish thoroughly before eating them. Noroviruses are relatively resistant to heat and unlike bacteria, they can survive in temperatures as high as 145°F. Food that might be contaminated with the virus should be discarded.
- Cleaning and disinfecting: After someone throws up or has diarrhea, it is crucial to thoroughly clean and disinfect the entire area right away. Leave disinfectant on the affected area for at least five minutes and clean the entire area with soap and hot water. Immediately remove and wash clothing or bedding that may be contaminated.
If you have been sickened as a result of consuming contaminated food purchased from a store or at a restaurant, you may be able to file a food poisoning lawsuit against the at-fault parties. An experienced California food poisoning lawyer will be able to help you better understand your legal rights and options.