WA Health reports first case of hepatitis A from recalled berries

WA has reported its first case of Hepatitis A, linked to the recently recalled Nanna’s and Creative Gourmet brands of frozen mixed berries.

Communicable Disease Control Director, Dr Paul Armstrong said this latest case adds to at least 12 other confirmed cases across Australia.

He urged Western Australians to not consume the following implicated berry products:

  • Nanna’s Mixed Berries, frozen in 1 kilogram plastic bags, with best before dates up to and including 22/11/2016
  • Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries in 300 gram (best before 10/12/2017) or 500 gram (best before 6/10/2017) packs
  • Nanna’s Raspberries (frozen) in1 kilogram plastic bags, with best before dates up to and including 15/09/2016.

Consumers should return any packs of these products, which were widely available from supermarkets in WA, to the place of purchase for a full refund, or discard them.

“There is no need for people who have eaten these products and remain well to see their doctor for testing or vaccination, as the risk to any individual should be very low.”

“Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can be passed from person-to-person, or come from food or water contaminated with the virus,” Dr Armstrong said.

“Symptoms of hepatitis A can start 2 to 7 weeks after exposure to an infectious person or after eating contaminated food.

“Early symptoms are fever, nausea, loss of appetite and abdominal discomfort. After several days jaundice can develop, with yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin, dark urine and pale stools, sometimes accompanied by diarrhoea.”

Dr Armstrong said it was important for anyone who does experience the above symptoms to see their doctor for testing, especially if they have eaten the above berry products in the past two months.

“People who are unwell should also take steps to avoid spreading the infection by careful hand washing and not handling food or providing personal care to others until they have received advice from their doctor,” Dr Armstrong said.

There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A and people sometimes require hospitalisation for supportive care. Hepatitis A can be prevented by vaccination.

Most cases of hepatitis A in WA occur in people who return from travel in developing countries, where transmission is associated with inadequate sanitation and poor standards of personal and food hygiene.

For more information about hepatitis A visit: healthywa.wa.gov.au/Healthy-WA/Articles/F_I/Hepatitis-A.

For current information on the food recalls visit: foodstandards.gov.au/industry/foodrecalls/recalls/Pages/default.aspx