Frozen berries recalled

16 Feb, 2015 08:30 AM
Comments
14
 
This beggars belief. A major health scare and Patties has gone home!

NANNA'S frozen mixed berries have now been linked to five cases of hepatitis A - two in NSW and three in Victoria.

A second person in NSW was diagnosed with hepatitis A after eating Nanna's frozen mixed berries on the weekend.

This comes one day after the Victorian Health Department issued a massive recall for one-kilogram packets of the frozen fruit.

The recall has also been extended to Creative Gourmet mixed berries, which were packaged in the same plant as the Nanna's berries. Creative Gourmet 300g packets with best-before dates up to and including December 10, 2017, and 500g packets with best-before dates up to October 6, 2017, should not be consumed.

The berries came from China and Chile and were distributed by Patties Foods, which is based in Bairnsdale, east Victoria.

The frozen mixed berries are sold mainly in Woolworths, Coles and IGA supermarkets.

President of the National Farmers’ Federation, Brent Finlay, said the incident reinforced the need for strong biosecurity measures to ensure food safety.

“It also demonstrates that buying Australian is the smart thing to do," Mr Finlay said.

"Australian farmers are rightly proud of the high quality and safety of the food they produce.

“Our food is the safest in the world, because our production systems have checks and balances."

Director of NSW Health's Communicable Diseases Branch, Vicky Sheppeard said an investigation by all health agencies was under way, but authorities were not yet sure how many people may be affected.

"Given that Nanna's mixed berries is a widely distributed product, there is the potential that others may be sick with hepatitis A now, or develop the disease over the coming weeks," she said.

It can take between 15 and 50 days for hepatitis A symptoms to show. Symptoms include diarrhoea, fatigue, fever, nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and vomiting.

Health Departments around the country are urging people to be on the lookout for symptoms.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can spread through contact with food, drinks or objects with traces of faeces containing the virus. It is common in developing countries where hygiene is poor.

"It is important that if people have the symptoms of hepatitis they see their doctor for testing, especially if they have eaten this product in the last two months," Dr Sheppeard said.

"They should also take steps to not spread the infection by careful handwashing and not handling food or providing personal care to others until they receive advice from their doctor."

Patties Foods has announced it is undertaking a nationwide recall of the mixed berries with a best-before date up to and including November 11, 2016.

The company has advised consumers not to eat the product and return packs to the place of purchase for a full cash refund.

"A detailed testing process has commenced in conjunction with health authorities," a statement from the company read.

"Patties Foods advises the voluntary recall is in the interests of consumer safety and that the health and wellbeing of consumers is paramount."

Furious customers have complained about the lack of information available to them about what they should do if they have bought the product and where to submit claims for medical tests or seek refunds.

One customer contacting Fairfax Media said he tried to call Patties Foods all morning on Saturday but there was no answer.

"This beggars belief. A major health scare and Patties has gone home! If no one else us available, the CEO should man the phones," he said.

"While Patties may be spreading the word through the press, this does not abrogate their responsibilities, including at law, to take all reasonable steps themselves to inform and assist affected customers."

Concerned consumers can call the Patties Foods hotline on 1800 650 069.

- with FarmOnline

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READER COMMENTS

angry australian
16/02/2015 10:24:29 AM

We have agricultural and labour policies that close down all the secondary sectors of our primary industries.We have free trade rabbits who want the Aussie consumer to have the cheapest product going to the detriment of our own jobs and nation.We have AQIS and other govt. agencies taxing our exporters with all sorts of redtape and $1000's a day to look at what we produce. Then we apparently bulk import Hep A from a nation without our standards. Why aren't the likes of AQIS bulk testing the imports? Does someone have to die so that Colesworth can sell cheap stuff?
dont we grow berries
16/02/2015 1:03:26 PM

Under the TPP would we know where this fruit came from?
Invey
16/02/2015 1:24:11 PM

Well said angry, our Government is full of traitors who put foreign interests above Australians.
Baldrick
16/02/2015 3:18:32 PM

Were these sold as being from "a mix of Australian and imported ingredients"? - given only the packaging was Australian! (if that!!)
Djames
16/02/2015 4:46:54 PM

Whats a bigger worry now is that we soon have a free trade agreement with india and china.I can only imagine the crap that will be allowed in our supermarkets soon .Now is a time to lobby hard and put government on notice regarding this
FFS
16/02/2015 5:00:41 PM

Eat up, selective socialists.
John NIven
16/02/2015 8:28:21 PM

Our Political system of 2 party servents to the bureauracy State or Federal is completely busted.
wtf
16/02/2015 8:41:38 PM

why is it that food labelling is so misleading? I just want food grown here and not mixed with imported rubbish with lots of ingredient substitutes. Why are all these trade deals discussed behind doors and we don't know the effects on us until its too late?. We are being sold out on these agreements.
Invey
17/02/2015 7:04:22 AM

Why isn't the NFF on the news at present pushing the safety of AU food? On a TV morning show today there was a doctor pushing the virtues of AU food but no farmer representatives. Asleep at the wheel again. We cannot compete because of the extra red tape, wages, enforced levies, etc etc. The only thing we have an advantage with is quality and food safety and the NFF does nothing. A statement in the land, isn't good enough. The land readers already buy AU. It's no wonder why "our" union groups membership is falling. Wake up Brent, this was an opportunity and it was wasted.
daw
17/02/2015 10:51:36 AM

What cheeses me off - comments using acronyms that aren't spelt out when 1st used. What does TPP stand for 'dont we grow berries'? It used to be Third Party Policy in legal terms. You will have to explain yourself FFS. I'm with you on this wtf 'packed from local & imported ingredients' is not good enough. It is designed to be evasive in telling the truth by smart alecs. Past time for all of us to be demanding changes to the labelling laws. If some of it is imported then state the percentage of the part. Print in lettering larger than the other printing. I try not to buy misleading labels.
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