Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 36832797
Link to DOI – 10.3390/foods12040723
Foods 2023 Feb; 12(4):
It is known that the transmission of different foodborne viruses can occur either via discharge of contaminated water close to the production environment or via close contact with animal feces. Cranberries are intimately associated with water throughout their production cycle, and blueberries grow close to the ground which could lead to contact with wildlife. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of human norovirus (HuNoV GI and GII), hepatitis A virus (HAV) and hepatitis E virus (HEV) in two berries produced commercially in Canada. The detection of HuNoV and HAV on RTE cranberries and of HEV on wild blueberries was evaluated using the ISO method 15216-1:2017. Only 3 of 234 cranberry samples tested positive for HuNoV GI (3.6, 7.4, 5.3 genome copies/g, respectively) and all were negative for HuNoV GII and HAV. PMA pre-treatment and sequencing confirmed the absence of potential intact HuNoV GI particles on cranberries. None of the 150 blueberry samples tested positive for HEV. Overall, the prevalence of foodborne viruses in RTE cranberries and wild blueberries harvested in Canada is low, making these products relatively safe for consumers.