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Cruise Ship Norovirus Outbreaks Traced Back to Frozen Raspberries

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on April 28, 2020

Vacationing on a cruise ship in an experience unlike any other. From family-friendly activities, to bars and comedy clubs, there’s a little bit of something for everyone aboard these “cities at the sea.” And after a long day of picking and choosing what experiences you’d like to participate in, there’s certainly one thing you won’t want to forget…the glorious food. Beautiful buffet lines sprawled across spectacularly designed dining halls will have you feasting like a king. Unfortunately, these types of environments are breeding grounds for foodborne illness outbreaks.

Since the summer of 2019, a “mystery” illness has been making its way around 10 different European cruise ships, striking one cruise line in particular and seriously sickening everyone in its path. Passenger complaints included violent vomiting and diarrhea, amongst other acute gastrointestinal issues. Crew members and personnel worked for months in order to figure out the source of the outbreak, extensively testing all food and beverages. They were ultimately unable to come up with any concrete answers.

Finally, on September 13th, 2019, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention was alerted to the fact that one of these afflicted European vessels would be sailing into U.S. waters. According to reports from the CDC, 117 passengers and 8 crew members aboard this yet-to-be-named cruise ship were sick and showing symptoms of norovirus, a common foodborne illness frequently found on these luxury liners. It can be spread through contaminated food and water, unclean surfaces, and direct contact with an infected person.

It wasn’t until one month later when additional reports of passengers experiencing similar symptoms began to emerge from neighboring cruise ships that the CDC began administering food questionnaires to previous guests. After deciphering the results, it was determined that 80% of sick passengers had consumed a frozen smoothie containing raspberries and other tropical fruits. Further testing of the contaminated ingredients by the CDC proved the presence of norovirus, which additionally led to the World Health Organization issuing a recall for the frozen raspberries in question.


James O. Cunningham

James O. CunninghamSince 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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