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Woman in Australia dies after contracting hepatitis A from frozen pomegranate

June 6, 2018 1:29 PM
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Health officials urge people to dispose of recalled packets of Creative Gourmet frozen pomegranate arils after the "tragic" death.

Health officials have urged people to dispose of recalled packets of the Creative Gourmet fruit product following the 64-year-old's death.

Professor Paddy Phillips, South Australia Health's chief medical officer, said the case had been referred to the coroner.

"This is a rare and tragic case and I offer my sincere condolences to the woman's family," he said.

Entyce Food Ingredients, the owner of Creative Gourmet, issued an urgent recall of 180g packets of frozen pomegranate arils in April after an outbreak of hepatitis A in New South Wales.

Twenty four cases of the virus have been linked to the product including two incidents in South Australia, officials said.

In a statement, Entyce Food Ingredients said it was "deeply saddened" by the woman's death.

The company told ABC News: "Entyce will work closely with health authorities and the SA Coroner to help determine the exact cause of the woman's death and if there was any direct link with the consumption of frozen pomegranate arils and hepatitis A."

Symptoms of hepatitis A include nausea, vomiting, fever and yellowing of the skin and can take up to 50 days to develop.

According to the NHS, the virus can be life-threatening in rare cases if it causes the liver to stop working properly.

Professor Phillips said officials were not expecting further cases linked to the frozen pomegranate product because it was recalled two months ago.

"The majority of people infected with hepatitis A recover fully and the woman's death is the only death linked to this recalled product nationally to date," he said.

"While we expect most people would have disposed of the recalled product, we urge everyone to double-check freezers and remove any affected products."


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