News National No firm proof berries are hep A cause: Patties

No firm proof berries are hep A cause: Patties

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Patties Foods say there’s still no firm link between a national hepatitis A outbreak and their recalled berries.

The company says berries were recalled on health department advice despite no proof from accredited laboratories of a link between the hepatitis A virus (HAV) and their Chinese imported berries.

“At this point, we have not been provided any remaining consumer product to test from the 13 confirmed HAV cases to clinically verify there is indeed a link with the Nanna’s Mixed Berries,” managing director and chief executive Stephen Chaur said in a statement on Friday.

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Mr Chaur said the company has rigorous testing that goes beyond the Australian standards requirement that five per cent of imported fruit containers be tested.

“Patties Foods’ documented test regime is amongst the highest, testing 20 per cent of all the containers when they arrive in Australia,” he said.

But Mr Chaur said sample testing for microbial and viral markers has been increased to 100 per cent of imported frozen berries from all countries.

The company had checked quality control testing documents back to June 2014 and say they’re satisfied no biological indicators outside Australian guidelines have been detected.

Recalled products are being tested further at laboratories in Australia, Europe and North America with results expected in a fortnight, Mr Chaur said.

Production of recalled products has been stopped until the formal results are known.

As at Friday morning the Health Department had recorded 13 confirmed cases.

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