Norovirus causes large outbreaks involving all age groups and are considered the most common cause of infectious foodborne diseases worldwide. The aim of this study was to describe a norovirus outbreak connected to insufficient heat treatment during preparation of a shellfish soup in serving portions, during a company Christmas celebration in Norway, December 2013. A questionnaire sent to the employees, showed that 67 % (n = 43) of the celebration participants, reported gastrointestinal symptoms including stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhoea and light fever in the period between 24 and 48 h post celebration. Several dishes were served, including shellfish soup made with carpet shell clams (Tapes rhomboides) in porcelain cups. Consuming this soup, was the only significant risk factor for infection. Norovirus GI and GII were detected in the remaining raw shellfish. To mimic the time and temperature obtained during bivalve soup preparation, raw chopped shellfish tissue and raw cepa onion were added in porcelain cups tempered to 20 °C. To each of these cups, boiling soup base was added. The temperature in the shellfish tissue was continuously recorded, and showed a maximum of 49 °C in the period between 3 and 7 min after adding the boiling soup base. After 1 h the temperature was 30 °C. This time and temperature combination was obviously not sufficient for inactivation of norovirus present in the shellfish tissue. In conclusion, the heat-absorbing capacity of cold ingredients, utensils and table wear porcelain should not be underestimated during food production. Consumers who want to avoid eating raw shellfish, should not assume that the shellfish tissue in preparation as described in our study is adequately heat treated.
The Norwegian spring spawning (NSS) herring is an ecologically and economically important fish population in the Norwegian Sea. It was the first of several Norwegian fish stocks subject to a baseline study designed to give a comprehensive account of the levels of contaminants in a fish species from most of its area of distribution and during different seasons. During 2006 and 2007, 800 individual herring were sampled in their feeding areas in the Norwegian Sea in spring and autumn and at their spawning grounds off the coast of Norway during late winter. Metals including Hg, Cd, As and Pb were determined in muscle samples of individual herring, and mean concentrations±sd (mg kg(-1) ww) were: Hg: 0.04±0.03, Cd: 0.010±0.006, As: 2.2±0.6 and Pb:
Brown crab Cancer pagurus is appreciated as seafood in several European countries. However, cadmium levels in crabs can be elevated and their consumption may pose a hazard for human health. To assess if cadmium poses a threat to food safety in Norway, crabs were sampled at two different locations along the Norwegian coast: one in the South of Norway and one in the North of Norway. Cadmium levels were determined in different tissues (claw meat, hepatopancreas and inner meat). To highlight specific risk factors for cadmium, the concentration of cadmium was related to different exogenous (location, cooking and season) and physiological (size, sex, moulting stage, gonad maturation stage, condition) factors. The results confirmed previous findings of much higher cadmium levels in brown crab sampled in the North of Norway compared to the South. Cooking of crabs further led to higher concentrations in claw meat. The effect of season on cadmium levels was different in the North and South and no clear patterns could be identified, probably due to a high inter-individual variation in cadmium levels. Size showed a correlation with the total amount of cadmium for crabs in the North indicating an accumulation of cadmium over time; together with a slower growth, this may lead to the higher cadmium levels, observed in the crabs from Northern Norway. The risk connected to cadmium exposure when consuming brown crab mainly depends on the consumption pattern, the parts of the crab consumed and the origin of the crab. Regardless of origin, the consumption of claw meat does not display a consumer health risk. However, the consumption of meals consisting of inner meat only and inner meat of brown crab from Northern Norway may pose a health risk.
Previously, high concentrations of cadmium have been found in the hepatopancreas of the edible or brown crab (Cancer pagurus) sampled from positions north of about 67° N, compared to regions further south along the Norwegian coast, with no clear understanding why. In order to study a similar organism in the same ecosystem, the present study analyzed 210 shore crabs (Carcinus maenas) from four different locations along the Norwegian coast, two in the North and two in the South. The physiological variables size, sex, molting stage, hepatosomatic index, carapace color, and gonad maturation were registered, in attempt to explain the high inter-individual variation in cadmium levels in hepatopancreas. In contrast to the brown crabs, the shore crabs showed no clear geographical differences in cadmium concentrations. This indicates physiological differences between the two crab species. No clear and consistent correlations were found between cadmium levels and physiological parameters, except for sex, where cadmium concentration in hepatopancreas was twice as high in males compared to females. The cadmium levels also varied with season, with approximately 40 and 60% lower cadmium concentration in April than August for male and female shore crabs, respectively. None of the analyzed cadmium concentrations in muscle meat from claws exceeded EUs food safety limit, and low cadmium levels in soup prepared from shore crabs clearly indicated that this dish is not problematic regarding food safety.
Diet is a major source of human exposure to hazardous environmental chemicals, including many perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs). Several assessment methods of dietary exposure to PFAAs have been used previously, but there is a lack of comparisons between methods.
To assess human exposure to PFAAs through diet by different methods and compare the results.
We studied the dietary exposure to PFAAs in 61 Norwegian adults (74% women, average age: 42 years) using three methods: i) by measuring daily PFAA intakes through a 1-day duplicate diet study (separately in solid and liquid foods), ii) by estimating intake after combining food contamination with food consumption data, as assessed by 2-day weighted food diaries and iii) by a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). We used existing food contamination data mainly from samples purchased in Norway and if not available, data from food purchased in other European countries were used. Duplicate diet samples (n=122) were analysed by liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to quantify 15 PFAAs (11 perfluoroalkyl carboxylates and 4 perfluoroalkyl sulfonates). Differences and correlations between measured and estimated intakes were assessed.
The most abundant PFAAs in the duplicate diet samples were PFOA, PFOS and PFHxS and the median total intakes were 5.6ng/day, 11ng/day and 0.78ng/day, respectively. PFOS and PFOA concentrations were higher in solid than liquid samples. PFOS was the main contributor to the contamination in the solid samples (median concentration 14pg/g food), while it was PFOA in the liquid samples (median concentrations: 0.72pg/g food). High intakes of fats, oils, and eggs were statistically significantly related to high intakes of PFOS and PFOA from solid foods. High intake of milk and consumption of alcoholic beverages, as well as food in paper container were related to high PFOA intakes from liquid foods. PFOA intakes derived from food diary and FFQ were significantly higher than those derived from duplicate diet, but intakes of PFOS derived from food diary and FFQ were significantly lower than those derived from duplicate diet. We found a positive and statistically significant correlation between the PFOS intakes derived from duplicate diet with those using the food diary (rho=0.26, p-value=0.041), but not with the FFQ. Additionally, PFOA intakes derived by duplicate diet were significantly correlated with estimated intakes from liquid food derived from the food diary (rho=0.34, p=0.008) and estimated intakes from the FFQ (rho=0.25, p-value=0.055).
We provide evidence that a food diary or a FFQ-based method can provide comparable intake estimates to PFOS and PFOA intakes derived from a duplicate diet study. These less burdensome methods are valuable and reliable tools to assess dietary exposure to PFASs in human studies.
The level of perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) was determined in North East Arctic cod (Gadus morhua) liver samples from 15 Norwegian fjords and harbors. Five harbors in the eastern part of Norway, six harbors in the western part and four harbours in the northern part. A total of 200 samples were analyzed for 16 PFAS. Determination of PFAS were carried out by LC-MS/MS following sample clean up by solid phase extraction and ultracentrifugation. The predominating PFAS was PFOS, which was found to be higher than the level of quantification (1.5 µg kg-1 wet weight) in 72% of the samples. The highest level of PFOS found was 21.8 µg kg-1 wet weight in a sample from Kragerø in the eastern part of Norway. A significantly higher level of PFOS was found in the eastern fjords and harbors compared to fjords and harbors in the western and northern part of Norway. Within the northern fjords and harbors elevated PFOS levels were found in Narvik, which may indicate a local source there. Variations in PFOS of the cod livers thus reflect differences in levels of pollution between the areas.
The aim of this paper is to evaluate the food safety of the red king crab from Norwegian waters and obtain information on possible geographical and gender differences. Samples of claw and leg meat of 185 red king crabs (Paralithodes camtschaticus), collected from 23 positions in the Barents Sea, were analysed for dioxins, furans, non-ortho and mono-ortho PCBs, non dioxin-like PCBs, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and perfluorinated alkyl substances and elements, such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead. The concentrations of persistent organic pollutants and metals were low compared to maximum levels laid down in European regulations. Hence, red king crab is a safe food. Significant differences in the concentrations of metals among different areas, and between male and female crabs, were found. Positive correlations were found between carapace length and mercury, methylmercury and cadmium concentrations, and between fat and arsenic and inorganic arsenic concentrations.
Pregnancy is one of the most critical periods for iodine deficiency. The aim of the present study was to assess the iodine status and dietary intake of pregnant women in a population changing from high to lower consumption of milk and fish.
Cross-sectional observational study. Urine samples were collected for measuring urinary iodine concentration (UIC) and creatinine, and blood samples for measuring serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Frequency of consumption of selected food and beverages was obtained through a semi-quantitative validated FFQ. The difference in the distribution of UIC, ratio of iodine to creatinine (I:Cr) and TSH between groups following recommendations on fish and dairy product intake or not (fish =2 times/week as a main meal, diary products =2 portions/d) was assessed.
Primary Health Care of the Capital Area, Reykjavik, Iceland.
Randomly selected pregnant women (19-43 years old, n 162).
The median UIC was 180 µg/l, I:Cr 173 µg/g and TSH 1·5 mmol/l. Women who did not consume fish =2 times/week and also did not consume dairy products in line with the recommended intake level of =2 portions/d had median UIC of 160 µg/l (I:Cr 149 µg/g) compared with 220 µg/l (I:Cr 190 µg/g) in the group following both the recommendations for fish and those for dairy products. Use of dietary supplements in the two groups was similar.
Iodine status in the population studied was within the optimal range (150-249 µg/d) defined by the WHO.
Hardangerfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and has historical mercury (Hg) contamination from a zinc plant in its inner sector. In order to investigate the extent of Hg transferred to abiotic and biotic ecosystem compartments, Hg and monomethylmercury (MeHg) concentrations were measured in seawater, sediment, and seafood commonly consumed by humans. Although total mercury in seawater has been described previously, this investigation reports novel MeHg data for seawater from Norwegian fjords. Total Hg and MeHg concentrations in seawater, sediment, and biota increased towards the point source of pollution (PSP) and multiple lines of evidence show a clear PSP effect in seawater and sediment concentrations. In fish, however, similar high concentrations were found in the inner part of another branch adjacent to the PSP. We postulate that, in addition to PSP, atmospheric Hg, terrestrial run-off and hydroelectric power stations are also important sources of Hg in this fjord ecosystem. Hg contamination gradually increased towards the inner part of the fjord for most fish species and crustaceans. Since the PSP and the atmospheric Hg pools were greater towards the inner part of the fjord, it is not entirely possible to discriminate the full extent of the PSP and the atmospheric Hg contribution to the fjord food web. The European Union (EU) Hg maximum level for consumption was exceeded in demersal fish species including tusk (Brosme brosme), blue ling (Molva dypterygia) and common ling (Molva molva) from the inner fjord (1.08 to 1.89?mg?kg-1 ww) and from the outer fjord (0.49 to 1.07?mg?kg-1 ww). Crustaceans were less contaminated and only European lobster (Homarus gammarus) from inner fjord exceeded the EU limit (0.62?mg?kg-1 ww). Selenium (Se) concentrations were also measured in seafood species and Se-Hg co-exposure dynamics are also discussed.
The contents of total arsenic and inorganic arsenic were determined in fillet samples of Northeast Artic cod, herring, mackerel, Greenland halibut, tusk, saithe and Atlantic halibut. In total, 923 individual fish samples were analysed. The fish were mostly caught in the open sea off the coast of Norway, from 40 positions. The determination of total arsenic was carried out by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry following microwave-assisted wet digestion. The determination of inorganic arsenic was carried out by high-performance liquid chromatography-ICP-MS following microwave-assisted dissolution of the samples. The concentrations found for total arsenic varied greatly between fish species, and ranged from 0.3 to 110 mg kg(-1) wet weight. For inorganic arsenic, the concentrations found were very low (