On 6 June 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) published updates to its ‘Essential Medicines List’ (EML). Read more here.

Eurosurveillance is on the updated list of the Directory of Open Access Journals and in the SHERPA/RoMEO database. Read more here.

Follow Eurosurveillance on Twitter: @Eurosurveillanc

In this issue

Home Eurosurveillance Weekly Release  2006: Volume 11/ Issue 36 Article 1
Back to Table of Contents

Eurosurveillance, Volume 11, Issue 36, 07 September 2006

Citation style for this article: Hjertqvist M, Johansson A, Svensson N, Abom PE, Magnusson C, Olsson M, Hedlund KO, Andersson Y. Four outbreaks of norovirus gastroenteritis after consuming raspberries, Sweden, June-August 2006. Euro Surveill. 2006;11(36):pii=3038. Available online:

Four outbreaks of norovirus gastroenteritis after consuming raspberries, Sweden, June-August 2006

M Hjertqvist1 (, A Johansson2, N Svensson2, PE Åbom3, C Magnusson 4, M Olsson2, KO Hedlund1, Y Andersson1

1Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Stockholm, Sweden
2Department of Communicable Disease Control, Västra Götaland, Sweden
3Department of Communicable Disease Control, Jönköping, Sweden
4Municipality of Gnosjö, Sweden

So far in 2006, in Sweden, there have been four outbreaks of norovirus gastroenteritis where raspberries were the suspected vehicle of infection. The first outbreak occurred at the end of June, the second was at the beginning of August and the third and fourth at the end of August. All the outbreaks occurred in the south western part of the country. In total, 43 people became ill and all these people had eaten raspberries as part of various different dishes.

Outbreak 1
On 23 June, a group of 15 people met at a private party, where they ate homemade cake containing cream and raspberries. One or two days after, 12 people fell ill with gastrointestinal symptoms. Stool samples from two patients were tested and found positive for norovirus by PCR.

Outbreak 2
On 2 August, there was a family gathering of 11 people on the west coast of Sweden. Cheesecake with raspberries was served at the party and was eaten by all of the guests. The following day, 10 people fell ill with signs and symptoms typical of norovirus infection. Later, two secondary cases were reported. No faecal samples were taken, as the patients had already recovered by the time the outbreak was notified to the authorities. During the outbreak investigation it was determined that the raspberries in the cheesecake were of the same brand as in the first outbreak and imported from China.

Outbreak 3
On 24 August a school class with about 30 pupils aged 13 prepared drinks with raspberries. A mother of one of the children reported that her child had become ill on 26 or 27 August. The county medical officer carried out a cohort study and it was discovered that 12 children had been ill. The incubation period was 24-36 hours, the symptoms vomiting, fever, diarrhoea and headache. The duration of disease was 1-3 days. Faecal samples from two children tested positive for norovirus by PCR. Leftovers of raspberries in a plastic bag were saved for later analysis. These raspberries were the same brand as the other outbreaks.

Outbreak 4
On 25 August, a meeting took place with nine participants. The guests ate baguettes with filling from a catering company and a homemade raspberry parfait for dessert. Following this meeting, all nine people fell ill. One stool sample was taken for testing, and this was positive for norovirus. Raspberries were left over and saved for testing – results are pending. These berries were also the same brand as in the previous outbreaks.

All of the suspected raspberries in these outbreaks were the same brand, and from the same distributor in Sweden who imported these from China. Raspberries were left over in two outbreaks and results of further tests on the raspberries are pending. On 23 August two batches of raspberries, were withdrawn from the market.

Outbreaks of gastroenteritis caused by norovirus from frozen imported raspberries have been reported from several European countries in recent years [1,2,3]. Since 2000 in Sweden, there have been 11 outbreaks of gastroenteritis caused by norovirus where the suspected food has contained raspberries (database at Smittkyddsinstitutet).

  1. Falkenhorst G, Krusell L, Lisby M, Madsen S, Böttiger B, Mølbak K. Imported frozen raspberries cause a series of norovirus outbreaks in Denmark, 2005. Euro Surveill 2005;10(9):E050922.2. (
  2. Cotterelle B, Drougard C, Rolland J, Becamel M, Boudon M, Pinede S, Traoré O, Balay K, Pothier P, Espié E. Outbreak of norovirus infection associated with the consumption of frozen raspberries, France, March 2005. Euro Surveill 2005;10(4):E050428.1. (
  3. Pönkä A, Maunula L, von Bonsdorff CH, Lyytikäinen O. Outbreak oof calicivirus gastroenteritis associated with eating frozen raspberries. Euro Surveill 1999; 4(6): 66-69 (

back to top

Back to Table of Contents

The publisher’s policy on data collection and use of cookies.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by authors contributing to Eurosurveillance do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) or the editorial team or the institutions with which the authors are affiliated. Neither ECDC nor any person acting on behalf of ECDC is responsible for the use that might be made of the information in this journal. The information provided on the Eurosurveillance site is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Our website does not host any form of commercial advertisement. Except where otherwise stated, all manuscripts published after 1 January 2016 will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence. You are free to share and adapt the material, but you must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the licence, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

Eurosurveillance [ISSN] - ©2007-2016. All rights reserved

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.