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.
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 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 (