Frozen strawberries are most likely the cause of a huge food poisoning outbreak that has sickened at least 11,000 students in Germany. The students attended 500 schools and day care centers in the eastern parts of the country in the last week. The cause of the outbreak was norovirus.
The Robert Koch Institut, which is used by the German Health Ministry to investigate outbreaks and infectious diseases, said there was a “strong and statistically significant link” between those illnesses and a shipment of frozen strawberries. The Google translation of the statement is as follows: “The largest food-borne outbreak of acute gastroenteritis (diarrhea and vomiting) in Germany is on the currently available data in the most affected provinces over. Only in Saxony, it is on the 4th October occasionally come again outbreaks of gastroenteritis in community facilities. The Notes have compressed that noroviruses were the causative agent of the outbreak. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) was initiated immediately epidemiological studies to investigate the responsible food. These studies have a strong and statistically significant association between the consumption of strawberry dishes, prepared from frozen strawberries, and the resulting diseases of diarrhea and vomiting.”
The berries came from a distributor to Sodexo, which is a private companies that provides foods and beverages to the schools. At least 32 of the students were hospitalized after becoming ill. The government of Germany has set up a task force to investigate this outbreak, which is the largest in that country to date.