16 January 2023, New Zealand: Anyone who bought Pams frozen Mixed Berries from 4 specific stores in the South Island is urged to check whether they are part of a batch that has been recalled due to a possible risk of hepatitis A associated with frozen berries sourced from Serbia.
New Zealand Food Safety is supporting Foodstuffs South Island in the recall of a specific batch of Pams brand Mixed Berries with a best before date of 14/08/2024. The product was only available for sale from these stores on Saturday, 14 January 2023.
“Foodstuffs South Island Hornby Distribution Centre, in error, released 478 bags of Pams Mixed Berries following the previous recall on 4 October 2022,” said New Zealand Food Safety (NZFS) deputy director-general Vincent Arbuckle.
Frozen berries recalled as a precaution while investigation into source of Hepatitis A continues
“Foodstuffs South Island has identified and removed most of those bags before consumers were able to buy them. However six bags have already been sold and another four are unaccounted for. So we are urging consumers who bought frozen berries from New World Ashburton, Three Parks New World in Wanaka, Pak‘nSave Hornby and Pak‘nSave Wainoni in Christchurch to check their freezers for the recalled product.
“Consumers, especially those with chronic liver damage, the elderly and pregnant people, should not eat frozen berries raw. Bringing them to the boil will make them safe to eat, or they can be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund.”
If you have consumed any of this product and are concerned for your health, contact your health professional, or call Healthline on 0800 611 116.
Today’s recall affects the following product released in error following the recall on 4 October 2022:
- pams brand Mixed Berries (500g) with a Best Before of 14/08/2024
The product was potentially available in the following South Island stores:
- ashburton New World
- hornby Pak’nSave
- 3 Parks New World, Wanaka
- wainoni Pak’nSave, Christchurch
“In the current hepatitis A outbreak, case numbers have steadily declined, and the Ministry of Health reported on 12 January 2023 that there were 3 new cases, bringing the total cases to 35,” Mr Arbuckle said.
“New Zealand Food Safety is disappointed to be informed of this error given the hepatitis A outbreak was under control. We will investigate this error and ensure Foodstuffs South Island put in place appropriate measures to prevent a reoccurrence.”
Up-to-date details of the recall are available on our food recall page.
Pams brand Frozen Berries
How to make your berries safe for eating:
- briefly boil frozen berries before eating them, or if you have a thermometer at home, ensure cooking temperature exceeds 85 degrees Celsius for 1 minute. Heated berries can be safely refrozen for later use.
- if you microwave berries, you should stir them half-way through the cooking process to make sure they are cooked through. Microwave settings will vary, the important thing is to ensure the berries reach boiling.
- wash your hands before eating and preparing food.
Further information on preparing frozen berries safely is available here
Symptoms of Hepatitis A
If you’ve caught hepatitis A, it will take 15 to 50 days for the symptoms to develop.
Early symptoms of hepatitis A infection can be mistaken for the flu. The usual symptoms are nausea and stomach pain, with jaundice (yellow skin) appearing in a few days. Some people, especially children, may have no symptoms at all.
As the illness develops, the symptoms are:
- jaundice (yellow discolouration of the eyes and/or skin).
- anorexia (loss of appetite).
- abdominal discomfort.
- malaise (fatigue, feeling tired).
- dark urine.
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