Up to 9 people have now been hit with Hepatitis A from contaminated frozen berries. Three Victorians, three Queenslanders and two people in NSW have been diagnosed with Hepatitis A and have all reported eating the 1kg packets of ‘Nanna’s Frozen Mixed Berries’ before becoming ill.
A fourth Queenslander has also tested positive to Hepatitis A but it’s unclear if berries were consumed. Health authorities are expecting the numbers of those affected only to rise as the virus has an incubation period of up to 50 days.
As the Hepatitis A scare has now spread to Queensland $14.6 million has been wiped from the company, Patties Food, value. Shares plunged 7.7 per cent after Patties Food was forced to recalled packets of Nanna’s and Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries.
Customers who bought these berries are advised to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Experts are saying this is bad enough for a class action. Dr Andy Schmulow, Senior Research Associate in the School of Law at the University of Melbourne, says the goods will have breached Australian consumer law if found not to be fit for human consumption.
Hepatitis A is spread when food is contaminated with faecal matter. Patties Food imports its frozen berry products from China and takes blueberries from Chile.
Australian farmers say that homegrown fruits are the best berries money can buy.