An Australian food company has announced recall of its frozen berry products after a hepatitis A outbreak came into light in a Chinese packaging plant.
According to the company, the outbreak is associated with the poor water supplies and hygiene conditions in the Chinese plant.
The Australian food authorities on Monday said that they are investigating the outbreak triggered after eating the frozen berries by Patties Foods Ltd.
The hepatitis A outbreak has so far infected five people.
Patties Foods Ltd berries are grown in both China and Chile, and packaged at the Chinese factory, which is under scanner.
The incident has once against ignited the fears about the food safety of the export products from China. Food safety has always remained a concern in China, thanks to the alarming rate of pollution from rapid industrialization. On the other hand, poor hygiene conditions overlooked by the packaging plants during production have also remained a problem in the Asian country.
The Victoria state health department has confirmed the role of China in the latest incidence of contamination.
Finn Romanes, the senior medical adviser of health department, said, “The particular risk that we’ve identified here is that a country that has endemic hepatitis A, that is China, has been involved with packing these berries.”
“Clearly there’s strong evidence that there may have been a contamination during the packing process as they are fully sealed and then transported to Australia,” he added.
Romanes also said that they have no immediate information about the other products, if any, produced and exported by the Chinese supplier.
Meanwhile, the company said that even though its testing for quality control had not shown any safety issues with the frozen berries products, they are further conducting microbiological testing to find out the possible reason behind the hep. A outbreak.