Close  

Australians get hepatitis A from Chinese berries

/ 09:07 AM February 17, 2015
Nanna's Frozen Mixed Berries

Screengrab from http://www.patties.com.au/our-brands/nannas.htm

SYDNEY, Australia – Nine Australians have contracted hepatitis A linked with eating contaminated berries from China, with the importer apologizing Tuesday as the food scare spreads.

Manufacturer Patties Foods has recalled four products including the Nanna’s and Creative Gourmet brands of mixed berries and Nanna’s raspberries after infections in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.

ADVERTISEMENT

They are all sold nationally in major supermarkets, having been packed in China.

The hepatitis A cases are linked with Nanna’s Frozen Mixed Berries, with three other brands pulled off shelves as a precaution.

FEATURED STORIES

“Hepatitis A virus infection is uncommon and normally associated with travel to countries affected by endemic hepatitis A,” said Rosemary Lester, chief health officer in Victoria state, where three cases have been reported.

“The only common link between the cases is consumption of this product — there is no overseas travel or common restaurant exposure.”

Poor hygiene among Chinese workers and potentially contaminated water supplies in China are likely to have caused the outbreak, experts said.

“In this situation, the most likely culprit is poor hygiene at the site of production,” said Enzo Palombo, a food health and safety expert at Swinburne University of Technology.

“Hepatitis A is transmitted by the so-called ‘fecal-oral’ route — an infected person sheds the virus in their feces which then contaminates food or water.

“The virus either directly contaminates the food through a food handler not washing their hands properly or it could come from contaminated water used to wash the berries.”

Hepatitis A is a viral disease that affects the liver, causing abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and jaundice. It has an incubation period of up to 50 days.

ADVERTISEMENT

“As a company, we apologize to our consumers and customers for the concern and distress this is causing,” said Patties Foods chief executive Steven Chaur.

RELATED STORIES

Food scares cost McDonald’s in China, Japan; sales fall

No burgers at some China McDonald’s over food scare

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Australia, China, Chinese berries, Creative Gourmet, Food, food contamination, food scare, hepa A, hepatitis A, Nanna’s, raspberries
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.