Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Nine Cases of Hepatitis A from Chinese Berries in Australia


SYDNEY – At least nine people have contracted hepatitis A in Australia after reportedly consuming frozen berries imported from China, local media reported Tuesday.

The Patties Foods company began to remove “Nanna” brand frozen berries from its shelves last week after the first cases of infection were reported, and so far they have withdrawn a fourth of the total products from the market as a preventive measure.

The company’s managing director, Steven Chaur, said that until now there were no tests to link the berries to hepatitis A.

“We are sending samples internationally to be tested for this virus to identify whether there is actually a link between hepatitis A and our products, but in the meantime our number one priority is public safety,” Chaur told the ABC television channel.

Lack of hygiene among Chinese workers or the supply of potentially contaminated water in China could be among the causes behind the outbreak.

Ian Harrison, Chief Executive of the NGO Australian Made, spoke of the need to have a clear labeling regarding the country-of-origin of a product, so that consumers are not confused.


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