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Can J Public Health. 1999 Jan-Feb;90(1):37-40.

[Epidemic of gastroenteritis of viral origin associated with eating imported raspberries].

[Article in French]

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Centre de santé publique de Québec, Beauport.


Several episodes of food poisoning affected the region of Quebec City in July and August 1997. In the first two episodes, the analysis of two cohorts (A and B) demonstrated that the consumption of a raspberry mousse with raspberry sauce increased the risk of contracting gastroenteritis (A, RR = 2.6 p = 0.001; B, RR = 4.7 p = 0.02). More than 200 people were sick after eating a raspberry dessert. The common ingredient of all those desserts was raspberries imported from Bosnia. Viral studies on the raspberry sauce (2) and stool samples (5) using the genome amplification method by PCR indicated the presence of genomic material compatible with a virus of the Caliciviruses family. Southern hybridization and sequence analysis showed that the nucleotide sequences found in the raspberry sauce and in the stool samples were identical. It is important to maintain active surveillance to detect and limit the spread of this kind of outbreak.

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