Consumers have been warned to avoid an imported frozen mixed berry product which may be contaminated with Hepatitis A.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Rosemary Lester, said today anyone with the 1 kg packets of Nanna’s Frozen Mixed Berry in their freezer should dispose of them immediately.
The warning follows notifications of Hepatitis A in four adults – three in Victoria and one in New South Wales.
Hepatitis A virus can take between 15 to 50 days to develop and the onset of the illness ranges from early January to mid-February.
The product is made from four berries – strawberries, raspberries, blackberries from China, and blueberries from Chile – and is packed in China and distributed in Australia by Patties, based in Bairnsdale.
It is distributed mainly to Woolworths, Coles and IGA supermarkets.
Dr Lester said frozen berries have been implicated in past outbreaks of Hepatitis A virus infection.
“Hepatitis A virus infection is uncommon, and normally associated with travel to countries affected by endemic hepatitis A,” Dr Lester said.
“The only common link between the cases is consumption of this product – there is no overseas travel or common restaurant exposure.
“Sampling of the product will be undertaken to identify the virus, but it is difficult to find hepatitis A virus even in a contaminated batch,” Dr Lester said.
As a precaution, the department is advising the company to recall this product.
Hepatitis A is spread when traces of faecal matter containing the virus contaminate hands, objects, water or food and is then taken in by mouth.
Symptoms of hepatitis A include abdominal pain, nausea, fever and chills and yellow skin or eyes.
Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact their GP or Nurse On Call on 1300 60 60 24.