Vietnam checks imports as hepatitis A scare linked to Chinese berries spreads

By Lien Chau - Trung Quang, Thanh Nien News

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Nanna frozen berries have been recalled in Australia over Hep A concerns. Photo credit: AAP Nanna frozen berries have been recalled in Australia over Hep A concerns. Photo credit: AAP


Vietnam Food Administration announced Monday that it is verifying if berries from China are being sold in the country after a number of Australians contracted hepatitis A from eating contaminated berries.
The food safety regulator will coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and agencies abroad for latest information so it can issue timely warnings, it said.
As of February 21, Australian health authorities have confirmed 18 cases of hepatitis A linked to frozen berries packaged in China and imported by Patties Foods.
Hepatitis A is a viral disease that affects the liver, causing abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and jaundice. It has an incubation period of up to 50 days.
Patties Foods has recalled four products including the Nanna's and Creative Gourmet brands of mixed berries and Nanna's raspberries after infections in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales, AFP reported.
The berries were grown in Chile and China before being packaged at a Chinese factory, according to the newswire.
Although it is still unclear if Vietnam imports the related berries, several Chinese fruits have already been found with harmful substances.
An inspection in Ho Chi Minh City last June found that tangerines, pears and apples imported from China contained traces of pesticide.
Relevant tests found that at least 30 percent of Chinese fruit contains excessive traces of pesticides.
In May, 2014, Vietnamese food inspectors turned away nearly 500 tons of Chinese fruit and vegetables bound for local markets, citing an excess of pesticides and preservatives.
The fruits included lime, grape, peach, apple, tangerine and orange.

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