NZFS Investigation into Hepatitis A Continues: Frozen Berry Consumption
Advice For Customers
New Zealand Food Safety (NZFS) are currently investigating a potential link between several cases of Hepatitis A in the community and the consumption of frozen berries.
While a definitive source has not yet been identified and NZFS’s investigations continue, NZFS is advising consumers of frozen berries to exercise care and take extra precautions at home by heat treating frozen berries to kill the virus.
New Zealand Food Safety’s advice to consumers is to:
- Briefly boil frozen berries before eating them, or if you have a thermometer at home, ensure cooking temperatures exceed 85 degrees Celsius for 1 minute. Heated berries can be safely refrozen for later use.
- If you microwave berries, you should stir at half-way through the cooking process to make sure they are cooked through. Microwave’s settings will vary, the important thing is to ensure the berries reach boiling.
- Wash your hands before eating and preparing food.
As NZFS’s investigation continues, some evidence has recently pointed towards products originating from Serbia and imported into New Zealand. While this is investigated further by NZFS, and as a purely precautionary measure, all Pams frozen berry products from Serbia have been identified and withdrawn from Foodstuffs stores and recalled.
The products that have been withdrawn and recalled from sale as a precaution are:
- Pams Frozen Berries Smoothie Mix 500g
- Pams Mixed Berries 500g
- Pams Frozen Berries Two Berries Mix 750g
- Pams Frozen Berries Two Berries Mix 1kg
- Pams Frozen Raspberries 500g
- Pams Frozen Raspberries 350g
Customers who have these products at home are advised not to eat them raw. Bringing them to the boil will make them safe, or they can be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund.
We take food safety very seriously and will continue to work closely with and support NZFS in their investigation.
Please visit the MPI website for the latest media release [https://www.mpi.govt.nz/news/media-releases/frozen-berries-recalled-as-a-precaution-while-investigation-into-source-of-hepatitis-a-continues/] for more information and follow their advice on the consumption of imported frozen berries.
More information is on the Ministry of Health website, here:
If you have concerns for your health, please consult your medical professional or phone Healthline 0800 611 116.
More information about the recall is on New Zealand Food Safety’s website, here: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/food-safety-home/food-recalls-and-complaints/recalled-food-products/pams-brand-frozen-berries/