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FSAI Reiterates Advice to Boil Imported Frozen Berries

Monday, 23 July 2018

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today reiterates its advice to consumers to boil all imported frozen berries for at least one minute prior to consumption. Foodborne viruses can cause serious illness, particularly in vulnerable people. There remains an ongoing risk in the global imported frozen berry supply chain with a number of food alerts being issued across Europe for viruses in frozen berries this year. This precautionary measure will destroy any viruses present and is particularly important when serving these foods to vulnerable people such as children, hospital patients and nursing home residents.

Frozen imported berries are widely used in the food industry in Ireland and distributed into the food service sector for use in cooked and ready-to-eat dishes. Therefore, food businesses using or selling imported frozen berries need to ensure that the berries they use are sourced from reputable suppliers, operating effective food safety management systems and comprehensive traceability systems.

As the food chain can be quite complex, it is necessary for food businesses at each stage of the food chain to seek assurances regarding the effectiveness of the food safety management systems in place from their suppliers. Food operators who use imported frozen berries should assess the risk in their own business and consider the need to include a heat treatment, such as boiling, as part of their food safety management system.

For more information, please see our FAQ: Berries - Advice to boil imported frozen berries