Woman dies from contaminated pomegranate
A SOUTH Australian woman has died from hepatitis A after eating a frozen pomegranate product recalled from supermarket shelves last month.
South Australian Health is reminding anyone who bought Creative Gourmet frozen pomegranate from Coles to throw it in the bin after the tragic death of the 64-year-old woman.
The frozen pomegranate was recalled two months ago after NSW Health found a link between the fruit and a number of Hepatitis A cases.
SA Health reminded the community on May 8, warning its residents the infection can take anywhere from 15 to 50 days to develop.
In a statement, SA Health's chief medical officer Paddy Phillips said he hoped there wouldn't be any more people suffering the illness, considering the product was recalled two months ago.
"This is a rare and tragic case and I offer my sincere condolences to the woman's family," Professor Phillips said.
"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.
"While we expect most people would have disposed of the recalled product, we urge everyone to double-check freezers and remove any affected products."
There was a nationwide recall of the contaminated product on April 7 and Coles removed it from its freezers.
The imported product led to 24 people being diagnosed with hepatitis A, including two in South Australia.
Australian-grown pomegranates were not infected.
Symptoms of hepatitis A range from mild to severe and include fever, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal pain, dark-coloured urine and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).
Older people generally suffer from stronger symptoms, which can last anywhere from one week to several months.
In April, Entyce Food Ingredients, the company that imported the Creative Gourmet packets, issued a statement saying the contamination was isolated.
"Consumers can be confident that the recalled product Creative Gourmet Frozen Pomegranate Arils 180g is an isolated one and no other Creative Gourmet products are affected," it said.
"The recall affects less than one per cent of the Creative Gourmet fruit sold annually in Australia."
The company was also eager to point out the cases were yet to be directly linked to Entyce products and all products tested to date had been cleared. Coles issued an apology to those affected.
"Customers can return the product to Coles supermarkets for a full refund," a spokesman said in a statement.
"Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice."
- with wires