• Home  / 
  • Featured
  •  /  Hepatitis A Outbreak from Frozen Berries in Australia

Hepatitis A Outbreak from Frozen Berries in Australia

Frozen Berries

Several Australians are suffering from hepatitis A after eating frozen berries, a BBC News report indicates. So far 14 people are affected, and the infection has spread to four states.

The average incubation period of Hepatitis A is 4 weeks, but it could take about seven to eight weeks to show up the symptoms. This means that the estimation of total number of people who have caught Hepatitis A is uncertain and it could increase further.

According to The Daily Mail, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Baggoley estimates that 1 in 100 people who ate those berries will contract the Hepatitis A. The four states where the outbreak was recorded are Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.

Patties Foods recalled four of its frozen berry products because of the outbreak

Patties Foods recalled four of its frozen berry products because of the Hep-A outbreak

Patties Foods is identified as the main suspect of the outbreak because most cases of Hepatitis A in two states has frozen berries products of Patties Foods in common.

This berry is imported from China to Australia and according to patties foods, these are responsible for the outbreak. About 90 percent of China’s groundwater is polluted, 65 percent severely so, with contaminates such as pesticides, fertilisers and petrochemicals, a report from the Centre of International Security Studies at Sydney University showed.

Therefore, Patties Foods is examining and assuring its supply chain to know exactly where the problem was. The main reason for the outbreak will be confirmed through special blood tests later this week as said by Professor Baggoley, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer.

Till then parent company Patties Foods have recalled its four products. Prime minister Tony Abbott has assured that there will be screening for all berry products.

About the author

Tim Sandle

Dr. Tim Sandle is a chartered biologist and holds a first class honours degree in Applied Biology; a Masters degree in education; and has a doctorate from Keele University.