SA HepA infections linked to pomegranate

frozen pomegranateA 64-year-old woman remains in a South Australian hospital in serious condition after contracting Hepatitis A linked to frozen pomegranate that’s affected 11 people across Australia.

A 33-year-old man was also hospitalised, but has subsequently been discharged, SA Health said in a statement.

A national recall of the Creative Gourmet frozen product was initiated last month by Entyce Food Ingredients, after it was linked to a hepatitis A outbreak in NSW.

SA Health’s Director of Food and Controlled Drugs, Dr Fay Jenkins, said while there are currently no laboratory results linking the two new cases to the outbreak, it’s an important reminder for consumers to dispose of any affected products.

“The gap between eating one of these products and becoming sick can be any time between 15 days and 50 days, so it’s quite possible that the two cases in South Australia ate this product before the recall happened,” Dr Jenkins told the Nine Network on Wednesday.

“We know frozen goods, in particular foods like berries and pomegranate, can sometimes stay in people’s freezers for many months following their purchase,” she said in a statement. “We would ask consumers to check their freezer and dispose of 180g Creative Gourmet frozen pomegranate arils packets with any best-before date up to March 21, 2020, or return them to Coles for a full refund.”

Fresh pomegranate and frozen Australian-grown pomegranate products are not affected. There have been 11 cases of hepatitis A linked to the product nationally.

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