Foodstuffs have issued a precautionary recall for six varieties of Pams frozen berries due to a hepatitis A outbreak, according to Newshub.
At the time of writing, the consumption of frozen berries has been related to 12 cases in the community - 7 of which have required hospitalisation.
New Zealand Food Safety (NZFS) deputy director-general Vincent Arbuckle is urging Kiwis to check their freezers for the following recalled fruit.
The recalled berries include:
- Pams Frozen Mixed Berries - 500g
- Pams Frozen Two Berry Mix - 750g and 1kg
- Pams Frozen Smoothie Berry Mix 500g
- Pams Raspberries - 300g and 500g
The six Pams frozen items will be removed from supermarkets nationwide as part of the recall, including New World, PAK'nSAVE, and Four Square. The goods will also be removed from Trents and Raeward Fresh stores in the South Island.
Talking to Newshub, Arbuckle suggests for Kiwis to "see if they have any of the recalled products. People who have these products at home should not 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."
Arbuckle added that although hepatitis A remains relatively rare in Aotearoa, the situation is still ongoing, and consumers should "exercise care and take extra precautions".
NZFS is investigating the source of the disease and the advice given is for Kiwis to "heat treat" all frozen berries before consumption.
Before eating you must do the following:
Before consuming frozen berries, give them a boil or, if you have a thermometer at home, make sure the temperature is higher than 85C for at least one minute. Berries that have reached this temperature can then be frozen again for later use.
If you microwave the berries, you should stir at halfway through the cooking process to make sure they are cooked thoroughly. Microwave settings will vary, the important thing is to ensure the berries reach boiling point
Of course, always wash your hands before eating and preparing food.
If you’re concerned at all, please visit health.govt.nz for a list of symptoms and all other health advice surrounding Hepatitis A.