You may have heard in the news that certain brands of frozen berries have exposed some people in Australia to the hepatitis A virus.
If you are worried that you might have been at risk, here is our guide:
Products that may currently present a risk for exposure to hepatitis A
- ‘Nanna’s mixed berries’ 1kg expiration date (up to and including) 22/11/16
- ‘Nanna’s Raspberries 1kg expiration date (up to and including) 15/09/16
- ‘Creative Gourmet mixed berries’ 300g expiration date (up to and including) 10/12/17
- ‘Creative Gourmet mixed berries’ 500g expiration date (up to and including) 06/10/17
NSW Health is warning people to watch for symptoms of hepatitis following reports of at least nine cases of hepatitis A in Australia linked to frozen mixed berries.
Dr Vicky Sheppeard, Director of NSW Health’s Communicable Diseases Branch, urged consumers to take heed of the recall of several lines of frozen berries sold under the brand names ‘Nanna’s’ and ‘Creative Gourmet’.
“The NSW Food Authority advises consumers to return these products to the place of purchase for a full refund, or discard them,” Dr Sheppeard said.
There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A and people sometimes require hospitalisation for supportive care. Hepatitis A can be prevented by vaccination. Two doses of vaccine provide lifetime protection. People exposed to hepatitis A can be protected from developing the disease if they receive the vaccine or protective antibodies within two weeks.
Should I get vaccinated against hep A?
Hepatitis A is a Vaccine Preventable illness.
Hepatitis A is not that common in Australia anymore. It is more common in some countries overseas. It is strongly recommended that travellers to countries with poor water sanitation and food standards are vaccinated.Vaccination is also recommended for anyone with chronic liver disease including hepatitis C and B.
If you want to get vaccinated for hep A, speak to your doctor.
The vaccination course is 2 injections, 6 months apart. This will protect you for life.
I have eaten some of these berries, and I DON’T feel sick - what should I do?
Even if you have eaten some of the berries, the risk of hepatitis A is low.
If you have eaten the berries listed above and don’t feel sick, you do not need to get tested by your doctor. If you do start to feel sick, see your doctor. You can read about hep A symptoms by clicking here.
You should be very careful about washing your hands for 7 weeks after eating the berries.
If you’ve had a hepatitis A vaccination before, then you should be immune, which means you won’t get sick from the berries.
I have eaten some of these berries, and I DO feel sick - what should I do?
If you are feeling sick after eating the berries, see your doctor. Your doctor can find out if you have hep A by checking your symptoms and giving you a blood test. You can read about hep A symptoms by clicking here.
If you think you might have hep A, try not to do any of the below until you are well again:
- prepare food for other people
- provide personal care for other people
- have sex
- donate blood
How soon would I get sick if I had hep A?
It takes about 2-7 weeks for people to start to feel sick, but most people will get symptoms by 4 weeks after eating the berries.
If you do get sick, you will probably feel better in 1-3 weeks. Most people will not have any future symptoms or related issues after they have had hep A.
If I have hep A, what sort of treatment will I need?
There is no treatment for hep A except rest, eating well, not drinking alcohol and looking after yourself. If you have hep A you will probably feel better in 1-3 weeks. A very small number of people might need hospital care to help them through their sickness.
Someone who lives with, has sex with or cares for a person with hep A should see a doctor. The doctor might give them a vaccine or immunoglobulin shot to reduce the risk of hep A.
If I have/had hep A, can I get it again?
No, once you have had hep A you will not get it again.
I ate some of these berries after cooking them, will I get hep A?
If the berries were cooked for a couple of minutes at a high temperature, then the berries would probably have been safe to eat. However, do not try to cook any of the berries from the list above – either return them to the place you bought them from for a full refund or throw them out.
For more information about hepatitis A see NSW Health website: