Advice for the public who have consumed frozen berries
Friday, 4 December 2015
The risk to consumers who have eaten the affected brand of frozen berries or any other frozen berries is low.
Anyone who has consumed imported frozen berries or food products containing frozen berries should be aware of the symptoms of Hepatitis A and if concerned consult a GP.
The symptoms include fever, nausea, dark urine, pale faeces, abdominal discomfort and jaundice. Children are often asymptomatic and occasionally present with atypical symptoms, including diarrhoea, a cough or joint stiffness. Jaundice is very unusual in children younger than 4 years.
Symptoms can take up to 15-50 days (commonly 28–30 days) to develop.
A person can be asymptomatic. People who have consumed berries but do not have symptoms do not need to consult their GP.
People with Hepatitis A are infectious for two weeks before the jaundice starts when they may have nausea and abdominal pain until one week after the jaundice starts.
Treatment for Hepatitis A is about managing symptoms until the body can clear the virus. There is no specific treatment.
General advice about food safety applies. People should wash their hands before eating and preparing food. Anyone who is concerned should briefly boil any 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.
A pamphlet on Hepatitis is available on the Ministry of Health’s HealthEd website https://www.healthed.govt.nz/resource/hepatitis-b-c
For other health related questions on Hepatitis A, call the Healthline 0800 61 11 16.
The link to the Ministry of Primary Industries website is https://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/mpi-recalls-frozen-berries