Yikes. Australian company Patties Foods announced yesterday that it was recalling its Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries due to possible hepatitis A contamination linked to a Chinese packaging plant.
The company said it was recalling all 300g and 500g packs of the mixed berries after at least five people became sick and were diagnosed with hepatitis A after eating the product.
Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, fever as well as yellowing of the skin and eyes. Dr. Vicky Shepard, director of the New South Wales Health’s Communicable Disease Branch, said that there’s a good chance that others will develop the disease within the coming weeks.
“The particular risk that we’ve identified here is that a country that has endemic hepatitis A, that is China, has been involved with packing these berries,” Finn Romanes, a Victoria State Department of Health senior medical adviser, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio. “Clearly there’s strong evidence that there may have been a contamination during the packing process, as they are fully sealed and then transported to Australia.”
Hepatitis A is passed through contact with fecal mater contaminated with feces from an infected person.