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Why should you heat frozen fruit before eating it?

Why should you heat frozen fruit before eating it?

Frozen fruits can be contaminated with germs

So many benefits that frozen fruit promises. However, there are some drawbacks. Thawed fruit should not be used immediately, but should be washed well beforehand and heated briefly – this is what we recommend Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) He points to one of the largest outbreaks of foodborne gastroenteritis in Germany in 2012. Frozen strawberries contaminated with norovirus and prepared in commercial kitchens caused the outbreak. Norovirus can cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. In other cases, hepatitis A viruses have been detected in frozen fruit. These can cause, among other things, hepatitis.

Robert Koch Institute: Contaminated frozen strawberries responsible for hepatitis A infection?

The Robert Koch Institute reports in Epidemiological Bulletin (2023;37:3-6) About several cases of hepatitis A that occurred in Germany between January 2022 and September 2023. In 55 cases of hepatitis A, it was proven in the laboratory that they could be traced back to a common but still unknown source. Many of those affected stated that they had eaten frozen strawberries in the past.

Hepatitis A outbreaks caused by frozen strawberries have already been observed in the past, so this suspicion is now evident as well. However, no specific product has been identified as a source yet. It is also unclear whether the products are still in circulation.

Why are frozen fruits contaminated with germs?

But how can this be explained? Due to contaminated irrigation water or poor sanitary conditions in the production chain, germs can reach the fruit. To be on the safe side, you should rinse the fruit under water Heat to at least 90 degrees for approximately 2 minutes before consuming – Advice you won’t find on the packaging.

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The gist of it is that the germs are killed, but unfortunately the vitamins and nutrients are also killed. For this reason, it is recommended to use local and seasonal fruits from time to time and not cover your needs exclusively with frozen foods.

advice: To avoid freezer burn, where nutrients are lost, make sure you don’t thaw frozen food on your way home. Ideally, you should take an insulated cooler bag with you.