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Hepatitis A scare prompts increased calls for stricter Country of Origin labelling

A spate of Hepatitis A cases have seen Patties Foods withdraw Nanna’s Raspberries one-kilogram packs from the market as “a precautionary measure” days after the company recalled the Nanna’s and Creative Gourmet brands of mixed berries.

Patties Foods MD & CEO, Steven Chaur, said, “While there are no confirmed test results indicating a potential link to Hepatitis A, we are working proactively with Health Authorities based on the information they have presented to date.

“The Consumer Recall is in advance of further microbiological test results, but given the potential health threat and the level of community concern, we are taking this precautionary measure.“

Investigations have identified a potential link to a specific source of raspberries in China.

Patties have reassured consumers that products such as Nanna’s fruit pies, crumbles, waffles, donuts, and other frozen fruit items are not affected by the recall. Fruit used in the production of these products is not sourced from the region identified as a potential link to the health concern.

nannas berries

Recalled products include 1kg Nanna’s Raspberries with a Best Before Date up to and including 15/09/16, 1kg Nannas Mixed Berries up to and including Best Before Date 22/11/16, 500g Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries, with a Best Before Date up to and including 06/10/17, 300g Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries, with a Best Before Date up to and including 10/12/17. Consumers should not eat these products and should return the pack to the place of purchase for a full cash refund.

Calls for stronger Country of Origin Labelling laws

The issue has prompted calls for stricter country-of-origin labelling with AUSVEG, the national peak industry body representing the interests of Australian vegetable and potato growers, appearing nationally on TV, radio and print this week calling for stronger Country of Origin Labelling laws and for more thorough testing of imported produce.

AUSVEG has been vocal in the past about the need to enact and enforce stronger Country of Origin Labelling laws and conduct more stringent testing of imported fruits and vegetables to ensure Australian consumers are protected from potentially unsafe produce and have more information regarding the origin of their food.

AUSVEG say they will continue to be vocal about these issues until Australian consumers have the ability to easily determine where the food they consume is produced and are protected from the potentially unsafe practices of some overseas producers, who lack the strict quality assurance standards employed by Australian growers.

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