New case of Hepatitis A

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Another person has contracted Hepatitis A after eating berries.

The link to Fruzio Mixed Berries has yet to be confirmed but MPI’s director plant food and environment Peter Thomson says, “the person ate the berries in late October and reported symptoms at the beginning of this month.”

“The person was briefly hospitalised for observation, but released the same day.”

MPI was alerted last night and if confirmed, the development would bring the number of people who have contracted Hepatitis A after eating the Fruzio Mixed Berries product to five.

“Given the incubation period can be between 15-50 days, it is not unexpected that a new case of Hepatitis A potentially linked to these berries has been notified,” says Peter.

The Ministry of Health is currently testing the virus to see if it is the same strain as that in the four other Hepatitis A cases. Results are expected at the end of this week or early next week.

Peter says MPI has an extensive investigation and work programme underway in relation to frozen berries.

In the meantime, their advice about all other imported frozen berries stays the same. People should wash their hands before eating and preparing food. Anyone who is concerned should briefly boil any imported frozen berries before eating them, or ensure cooking exceeds 85 degrees Celsius for one minute.

“Elderly persons and those with chronic liver damage should avoid imported frozen berries that have not been heat treated.”

 

Products under recall:

Fruzio Mixed Berries 1kg and 500g products, which contains strawberries and blackberries

Fruzio IQF Strawberry 1kg

Fruzio IQF Blackberry 1kg

Fruzio IQF 3 Mixed Berry 1kg (blackberries, strawberries and blueberries).

 

People concerned about a potential risk to your health, or the health of others, should seek advice from their medical practitioner, or call the Ministry of Health’s Healthline – 0800 61 11 16.

People concerned about the safety of food products should contact the MPI consumer helpline (0800 00 83 33).