13 April 2018

Hepatitis A outbreak linked to imported frozen pomegranate arils

WA has reported its first case of hepatitis A infection, as part of a national outbreak linked to contaminated frozen pomegranates.

The WA case follows five cases in NSW, one in ACT and one in Queensland.

The implicated product is Creative Gourmet brand pomegranate arils, sold at Coles Supermarkets.

As a precautionary measure, Entyce Food Ingredients Pty Ltd has issued a voluntary recall of its Creative Gourmet Frozen Pomegranate Aril product.

Consumers who have purchased this product should not eat the product and return it to Coles for a full refund, or discard it.

The recalled product is made from pomegranates grown overseas. Fresh pomegranate sold in stores is not implicated, nor are Australian grown frozen pomegranate products.

WA Communicable Disease Control Director, Dr Paul Armstrong urged Western Australians who had eaten imported frozen pomegranates, purchased from Coles, to see their family GP if they develop symptoms of hepatitis A.

“Hepatitis A is a virus and symptoms of infection include fever, nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, abdominal discomfort, yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin, dark urine and pale stools,” Dr Armstrong said.

“Symptoms can take 2 to 7 weeks to develop after eating contaminated food. People can also become infected from being in contact with infected people and drinking water contaminated with the virus.”

Those who have consumed Creative Gourmet branded frozen pomegranate arils in the past two weeks may lessen their chance of infection by having a hepatitis A vaccination, if they are not already immune from past infection or vaccination.

 Visit the WA Department of Health for more information about hepatitis A.


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