UPDATE: HOUSEHOLDS are clearing out freezers across the country after eight people contracted Hepatitis A from eating frozen berries.



Eight people have now contracted the virus after eating frozen mixed berries, including three cases in Victoria, two in NSW, and the three Queensland cases reported on Monday.


A ninth person, also from Queensland, has tested positive to the virus but the state’s health department says it’s unclear if they consumed the suspect berries.


Health experts expect the number of Australians to contract Hepatitis A from frozen berries to increase.


Victorian company Patties Foods announced on Sunday it was recalling all 300g and 500g packs of Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries. On Saturday, all 1kg packs of Nanna’s Frozen Mixed Berries were recalled when the Victorian Health Department warned of a potential Hepatitis A contamination.


 More people test positive to Hep A





Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries have been recalled. Source: Supplied





 Patties Foods CEO Steven Chaur said the wider recall was a precautionary measure.


“We have decided that all our frozen Mixed Berries should be recalled until such time as we receive the results of further laboratory tests,” Mr Chaur said.


The suspect berries were packed in China before distribution in Australia.


Farmers are calling for an overhaul of labelling laws to prevent such outbreaks. Victorian Farmers Federation president Peter Tuohey said Australian food producers had to meet strict growing, handling and quality assurance standards often not in place in countries behind imported foods.


“Our view would be to buy Australian grown and you’re going to going to eat a safer, better quality product than imported,” Mr Tuohey said.


“But quite often these imported products are packaged in a way that makes them look Australian made.”


Hepatitis A is spread when traces of faecal matter containing the virus come in contact with hands, water or food and then enter a person’s mouth.


People who have eaten the suspect berries are being advised to look out for symptoms such as fever, chills, tiredness, abdominal pain, nausea and jaundice.


The virus has an average incubation period of 28 days but can range from 15 to 50 days. Most people recover from it, however people with chronic liver issues are at risk of death.


* Concerned consumers can call Patties Foods on 1800 650 069.


Source