You may have heard in the news recently that some brands of frozen berries have been recalled due to possible links to Hepatitis A. Social media and the news is full of information and for so many mums who regularly use frozen berries on a daily basis for our Healthy Mummy Smoothies  it’s a bit frightening
So we thought we would outline the key facts about the situation and what you can do to ensure berries you use are safe.
Photo credit: Lisa Luxton from our private Facebook Group who made her own berry mix

The Facts

  • Patties Foods, an Australian based company that sells frozen berry brands including Nanna’s and Creative Gourmet put out product recalls for a number of their products due to potential links to customers contracting Hepatitis A.
  • The following products have been recalled:
    • Nanna’s Raspberries, 1kg packs, with best before dates until 15/09/16
    • Nanna’s Mixed Berries 1kg packs, with best before dates until 22/11/16
    • Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries 300g, with best before dates until 10/12/17
    • Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries 500g, with best before dates until 06/10/17
  • If you have any of these items in your freezer then you can return them to the supermarket you purchased them from (no receipt is required) and you will receive a refund.
  • If you don’t want to return the goods then it is recommended to throw the berries out and not consume what is remaining.
  • You can get further information about the product recall via the Food Standards Australia website.
  • The health scare has occurred as the berries used by these brands are imported from China and Chile, where the health standards for washing and packing food items aren’t necessarily as strict as those in Australia.
  • Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver. It is spread by the faecal-oral route, via contact with contaminated food and water or a person who is infected.
  • Symptoms of Hepatitis A include aches, pains, fever, nausea and abdominal discomfort. Dark urine, pale stools and jaundice are also symptoms.
  • If you are worried about any of these symptoms then you should consult your doctor for further advice.

The Options

  • Now you’re aware of which brands to avoid right now, which brands are safe to buy or what can you use instead when making smoothies or healthy snacks?
  • The safest option is to find an Australian produced range of frozen fruits. This is currently a hard thing to find as most frozen berries and fruits are imported from China and Chile.
  • Berries often retain a lot of the fertilisers and pesticides used when they’re growing and if they’re not washed properly before being frozen and packed, then they may have the potential of making you unwell.
  • You can find a few organic brands of frozen berries at the supermarket. If these are certified organic then they are not grown with any pesticides and are therefore possibly safer to consume than non-organic frozen fruits.
  • Due to the recent scare with the imported fruits there is sure to be a number of Australian frozen fruit brands popping up in the supermarket quite soon to meet consumer demand. One brand that is mostly Australian grown or organic is “Frozberries”. These products aren’t readily found in all supermarkets but if you visit their website or contact them you can find out where you can buy their products closest to you. Their website states the fruit they grow in Australia and what they import and from what country – you can read more here
  • The easiest and probably safest option is to freeze your own berries and fruits. Whenever Australian grown berries are on sale at your supermarket, farmer’s market or local fruit and vegetable shop, buy extras. Take them home, remove any stalks, wash them and then dry them well with a clean tea towel or paper towel. Once washed and dried, place them in snap lock bags or air tight containers and freeze.
  • Mango slices, fresh mint leaves and sliced summer fruits are also great options to freeze with your berries or separately so you have a great selection of Australian grown fruits to use in your smoothies or other recipes.
  • Banana slices, kiwis and pear are also great options to freeze with berries. You could even freeze individual bags that make up your favourite Healthy Mummy Smoothie combination e.g. banana, blueberries and pear. Then all you need to do is place the fruit combo, Healthy Mummy Smoothie powder and other items in the blender and you’re done!

Don’t let this recent frozen berry recall scare you – once you know the facts and can work out what you need to do and what you need to know about the products you consume, you can make the right choices and work out the safest alternatives for you.
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