There have been seven reported cases so far in Wollongong, Sydney, and the Central Coast. The NSW Food Authority emphasises that the product in question is imported. Fresh or Australian grown pomegranate is not implicated or linked to the contamination.
“Anyone who has been exposed to Hepatitis A and is experiencing symptoms should see their GP. Hepatitis A is relatively uncommon in Australia, but symptoms do subside as your body fights the virus,” Nepean Hospital nurse Amelia Richards said.
Hepatitis A is viral infection that affects the liver, and can be contracted by the faecal-oral route or faecal contamination of food. “Cases are usually acute, however recovery time varies person to person. It can take over a month for symptoms to appear after the time of infection“ Nurse Richards said.
Symptoms may include:
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
- dark urine and pale faeces
- nausea and vomiting
There are vaccinations available for Hepatitis A, and a vaccination within two weeks of infection can still be effective in preventing onset. While there is no cure for Hepatitis A, a full recovery is possible with rest and plenty of fluids. Hepatitis Australia says that once contracted, it is impossible to contract Hepatitis A again.
The product recall is a preventative measure, and affects less than 1% of Creative Gourmet’s produce. Cases of Hepatitis A are comparatively rare in Australia and other developed countries, with an average of 300-500 cases reported annually. Developing countries can experience rates as high as 90 per cent of children contracting Hepatitis A by the age of 10.
Creative Gourmet has issued a product recall, and Coles is offering a full refund for anyone who has purchased the Frozen Pomegranate with use-by dates up to March 21, 2020.