Breadcrumbs

Hepatitis A associated with Frozen mixed berries

2 June 2017

Nationally four cases of locally acquired hepatitis A virus infection have been genotyped with identical sequence to each other and to cases from the 2015 outbreak of hepatitis A associated with frozen mixed berries.

Product recall

The manufacturer of frozen mixed berries has instituted a consumer level product recall of Creative Gourmet frozen mixed berries 300gm, best before 15 January 2021 distributed nationally and sold through IGA stores, Foodland and other independent grocery stores. The product has been available in independent grocery stores (Foodland & IGA) since October 2016 with most product sold by March this year.

See the Food Standards website for more information.

Symptomatic patients

Medical practitioners should be alert for possible cases of hepatitis A in symptomatic individuals and request an urgent Hepatitis A IgM (and IgG) for such cases. Please also urgently notify the Communicable Disease Control Branch (CDCB) of confirmed or suspected cases by telephone. People who have eaten the berries but are asymptomatic do not need to be tested.

Incubation period

The incubation period is 15 to 50 days, usually 28-30 days. 

Symptoms

Patients frequently experience fever, malaise, weakness, anorexia, right upper quadrant pain, nausea and vomiting. Dark urine is usually the first specific sign of acute hepatitis A infection, followed one or two days later by jaundice and pale faeces. The duration of illness varies, but full clinical and biochemical recovery is usual. Complications, including fulminant hepatitis, are uncommon. In young children the infection may be asymptomatic or a mild illness without jaundice.

Infections period

Cases are infectious for two weeks before the onset of jaundice to 7 days after the onset of jaundice.

Vaccination

CDCB is not recommending widespread vaccination for hepatitis A for people who may have consumed the suspect product of frozen mixed berries. Hepatitis A vaccine is used to prevent secondary cases in non-immune close contacts of hepatitis A cases, and CDCB will follow up any notified case and provide vaccine for at risk contacts. Vaccine should be given within 2 weeks of the last exposure to the case, if the case was infectious during that time.

Normal Human Immunoglobulin (NHIG) is no longer recommended for prophylaxis, except for persons who are under one year of age, are immunosuppressed, have chronic liver disease or for whom vaccine is contraindicated.

Further information

 

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