Factsheet for Patients and Consumers - Hepatitis A and frozen berry products recall.

This factsheet provides information about Hepatitis A, the frozen berry products recall, and what to do if you become unwell.

Page last updated: 12 March 2015

What products have been recalled?

  • Nanna's Mixed Berries (frozen) 1kg pack, with a best before date up to and including 22/11/16 have been recalled.

The product is packed in China, containing raspberries, strawberries and blackberries grown there. The blueberries in the product were initially thought to have come from Chile, however, Health is now advised that they were sourced from Canada.

Additionally the following products have been recalled as a precaution:

  • Nanna's Raspberries (frozen) 1kg pack, with a best before date up to and including 15/09/16.
  • Creative Gourmet's Mixed Berries (frozen) 300g pack, with a best before date up to and including 10/12/17.
  • Creative Gourmet's Mixed Berries (frozen) 500g pack, with a best before date up to and including 06/10/17.

At this time, the recall only applies to the products listed above and does not apply to any other frozen berry products.

Product recall details are available at:

Why have these products been recalled?

Cases of Hepatitis A have been linked to the consumption of 1 kg packets of Nanna’s Mixed Berries. As a precaution, the Nanna’s Raspberries and Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries have also been recalled as they share a production line.

It is not known at this point how the berries may have been contaminated. Hepatitis A virus can be transmitted through contaminated water or soil or through contact with an infected person.

At this time, the recall only applies to the products listed above and does not apply to any other frozen berry products. More information about the recalls can be found on the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website.

What should I do if I have the recalled products in my freezer?

Do not eat the recalled products. If you wish, you can take the packet to the place of purchase and you may receive a refund. Otherwise, discard the product.

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a viral disease that affects the liver. The virus can survive for several hours outside the body but persists on the hands and in food for even longer and is resistant to heating and freezing. Freezing food does not remove the risk of Hepatitis A infection. Food must be heated to greater than 85C for more than one minute to remove the risk of Hepatitis A infection.

What are the symptoms?

You can fall ill any time between 15 and 50 days after catching the virus. The average incubation period for the virus is 28 days. Many infected people, particularly children less than five years old, show few or no symptoms.

For older children and adults, the symptoms include: fever, nausea, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, yellow skin and eyes (jaundice).

Symptoms may last for several weeks but full recovery usually occurs.

How is it spread?

People can be infected if they have direct contact with food, drinks or objects contaminated by the faeces of an infected person. The disease can also be spread sexually by oral–anal contact. A person with Hepatitis A is infectious from two weeks before they show symptoms to one week after they develop symptoms.

Who is at risk?

Anyone who has not been immunised either by vaccination or previous infection, can be infected with Hepatitis A.

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How is it treated?

There is no specific antiviral treatment for Hepatitis A. In most cases, your immune system will clear the infection and your liver will completely heal. Treatment aims to ease symptoms and reduce the risk of complications. Options may include:

  • Rest – Hepatitis A can make you tired and you have less energy for day-to-day life, so you should rest when necessary.
  • Eat small meals more often – nausea can affect your ability to eat and can contribute to tiredness so eat high-calorie foods if nausea is a problem.
  • Protect your liver – the liver processes medications and alcohol so avoid alcohol and review your medications with your doctor.

How is it prevented?

In this instance, the most important action you can take is to avoid consumption of the recalled products at this time.

Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for people prior to travel to some countries or after contact with a confirmed case of Hepatitis A.

Practising strict personal hygiene can reduce the risk of catching Hepatitis A. Steps you can take include:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before handling food, after going to the toilet and after handling used condoms or having contact with nappies or the anal area of another person.
  • Clean bathrooms and toilets often, paying attention to toilet seats, handles, taps and nappy change tables.

Can I get a Hepatitis A vaccination?

Routine Hepatitis A vaccination for people who have, or may have, eaten the implicated brand of frozen berries IS NOT RECOMMENDED. This is because of the very low risk of infection to an individual consumer of berries, and the need to vaccinate within 2 weeks of exposure to be sure of the potential benefits. If you have any concerns about your health or vaccination you should see your doctor for advice.

If required, a safe and effective vaccination is available for the prevention of Hepatitis A. The Australian Immunisation Handbook recommends Hepatitis A vaccination for the following people:

  • Persons with chronic liver disease, liver solid organ transplant recipients and/or those chronically infected with either Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C viruses.
  • People travelling to Hepatitis A endemic areas.
  • People who may have been exposed to others infected with Hepatitis A.

What should I do if I have eaten the products or given these products to others to eat?

Only a small proportion of people who have consumed the potentially contaminated berries have become ill. Monitor yourself and others who consumed the product for symptoms of fever, nausea or abdominal discomfort. Symptoms may appear between 15 and 50 days after catching the virus from eating the product. If symptoms appear, see your doctor immediately.

What should I do if I have eaten the products and I feel unwell?

It is important to identify symptoms early to help prevent the disease spreading. If you have symptoms including fever, nausea or abdominal discomfort, see your doctor immediately.

How is it diagnosed?

Hepatitis A is diagnosed by a blood test. It is important to note that there is no test available to diagnose Hepatitis A prior to the onset of illness. If you have consumed the berries and feel well, there is no need for a blood test.

What should I do if I am worried about my, or my family’s, health?

If you are concerned about your own health or your family’s health, call the Public Health Information Line on 1800 004 599 or see your doctor.

What is the Public Health Information Line?

The Public Health Information Line (PHIL) was established in 2004. It provides a point of contact in the event of an incident that requires the provision of public health information to the public. PHIL operates from 8.30 am to 5 pm AEST/AEDT, Monday to Friday.

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