NZFS Investigation into Hepatitis A Continues: Frozen Berry Consumption
New Zealand Food Safety (NZFS) are currently investigating a potential link between cases of Hepatitis A in the community and the consumption of frozen berries.
Despite a recent positive test result for Hepatitis A in a sample of leftover berries from a recent case, 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 progresses, the evidence continues to point towards products originating from Serbia and imported into New Zealand. As a purely precautionary measure, all Pams frozen berry products containing berries from Serbia were recalled on 4 October 2022.
The products that were withdrawn and recalled from sale as a precaution are: