In a follow-up to the hepatitis A outbreak in Australia linked to Nanna’s Berries, in which at least 10 people have been sickened, reports from the Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) say that some schoolchildren may have been served the tainted berries.
According to the DECD, a small number of primary schools and child care centres have reported to officials that they may have served frozen berries from batches identified as being potentially contaminated with Hepatitis A.
Principals and directors at the sites are contacting all parents to notify them of the possible risk and provide them with the advice issued by SA Health.
Professor Paddy Phillips, SA Health’s Chief Medical Officer, said people should be aware of the symptoms of hepatitis A and seek medical attention if they develop.
“There are a lot of people out there who have eaten the frozen berry products and are now wondering what they should do next,” Professor Phillips said.
“Hepatitis A cannot be tested for until symptoms develop, which can take between 15 to 50 days.
“At this stage we’re just asking people to be aware of what the symptoms are and to see their doctor if they develop, particularly if they have eaten frozen berries in the last two months.
“Symptoms of hepatitis A include abdominal pain, nausea, fever and chills and yellow skin or eyes.
“We are not recommending people get a preventative vaccination as the risk of contamination appears to be fairly low.”
To date, there have not been any reported cases of hepatitis A in South Australia linked to the frozen berry products.
DECD Chief Education Officer, Jayne Johnston, said that while advice suggested that the infection risk was low, DECD facilities are rightly taking a cautious approach.
“Parents will be understandably concerned to receive the letter but I would like to emphasise that SA Health advises that the risk is considered to be quite low and the product recall was being undertaken as a precaution.
“I would encourage parents who received a letter to familiarise themselves with the information from SA Health setting out the symptoms. “If their child has any symptoms they should visit their GP.”
As a precaution, the following products are being recalled from stores and the public is advised that if they have them at home they should throw them out or return to the place of purchase for a full refund:
- Nanna’s Mixed Berries – 1kg, up to and including best before 22 November 2016
- Nanna’s Raspberries – 1kg, up to and including best before 22 November 2016
- Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries – 300g, up to and including best before 10 December 2017
- Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries – 500g, up to and including best before 06 October 2017.