Australia will monitor frozen berries from China

The Australian Government announced new measures to act on the recent outbreak of hepatitis A related to frozen berries imported from China.

In a joint statement, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and Deputy Health Minister Fiona Nash said the check will apply to 100% of frozen berries from factories in China linked to the incident, which have been waiting for more tests.

The monitoring will include tests of Hepatitis A.

The Australian Department of Agriculture has requested information on the supply chains of all importers of frozen berries from China, and has officials at the plant working with the Chinese authorities to address the situation.

The statement added that the Chinese government has carried out initial inspections of the packing company involved in the outbreak of the disease and stressed that it had taken samples for microbiological tests.

It is expected that the first results of the full tests of the berries in question will be ready this week.

Australia and New Zealand Food Standards (Food Standards Australia New Zealand-FSANZ) has provided interim advice updating suspect frozen berries at "medium risk" following a request made by the Department of Agriculture last week to review the risk status .

The agency will also continue with a more extensive and rigorous scientific evaluation of the risk situation of frozen berries worldwide, which is expected to take a couple of weeks.

The director general of health of Australia reported that an estimated infection rate of 1% in people who eat these berries is a very conservative maximum limit that could be ratified downward, as experts continue to examine all the data. In addition, previous outbreaks of hepatitis A have shown that around 30% of infected adults may not show symptoms at all and is higher in children.

 

Source: Fruit Portal

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