Patties recalls fourth product due to potential hepatitis A contamination

Patties Foods is recalling Nanna’s Raspberries 1kg packs following investigations that have identified a potential link to a specific source of raspberries in China.

Nanna's Raspberries one-kilogram packs are being withdrawn by Patties Foods as a precautionary measure; days after the company recalled the Nanna's and Creative Gourmet brands of mixed berries.

Nine people have reportedly become sick with hepatitis A after eating Nanna’s frozen mixed berries, but the incubation period for Hepatitis A is between 15-50 days, so more cases may arise.

Patties Foods MD & CEO, Steven Chaur, said the further recall is a precautionary measure in the interests of public safety.

“While there are no confirmed test results indicating a potential link to Hepatitis A, we are working proactively with Health Authorities based on the information they have presented to date.

“Investigations through our supply chain have identified a specific source of raspberries as a potential common link to the possible safety issues raised by Health Authorities. 

“The specific source supplied raspberries which were packed in Nanna’s and Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries, that were the subject of the Consumer Recall announced over the weekend.

“The source also supplied product for Nanna’s Raspberries 1kg packs, with Best Before Dates up until 15/09/16.

“The supplier of raspberries is no longer used by Patties Foods.

“Some product that was previously supplied by the source may still be in the market and we are taking this added precautionary measure of conducting an additional Consumer Recall of all frozen raspberries associated with this specific source located in China, in the interests of public safety.

“The specific source did not supply raspberries for Creative Gourmet Raspberries 300g and 500g packs.

“The Consumer Recall is in advance of further microbiological test results, but given the potential health threat and the level of community concern, we are taking this precautionary measure.  

The recall has prompted calls for stricter country-of-origin labelling and highlighted the risk of a global supply chain.

Consumers with enquiries can call the Patties Consumer Hotline, 1800 650 069, between 7am and 9pm.

 

Berry recall highlights the risk of a global production chain

Nine people have become sick with hepatitis A after eating Nanna’s frozen mixed berries, which were imported from China.

The products were distributed by Patties Foods and the contamination has been traced back China, where the berries were sourced.

In response to the recall, trade analysts have said the globalised food production increased the risk of contamination, ABC News reports.

University of Queensland senior research officer David Adamson specialises in food safety in trade deals.

He said details on food sanitation requirements introduced in the China free trade deal were hard to find.

“Most people would be thinking that the food only goes one way, from Australia to China,” he said.

“Where in fact we've just seen here that we actually import a lot of repackaged or processed food from China.”

Adamson said there were risks surrounding food safety in China.

"We've seen this happen with melamine milk, we've seen this happen with rat meat passed off as lamb," he said.

"It's a very important issue to China and they're doing their best to stamp down on it.

"But we keep having incidences associated with chicken meat from China being exported to places like Japan [where it was] subsequently by McDonalds and also KFC – which causes enormous economic implications not only for those countries and those companies, but the people affected by these goods."

Adamson said if Australia wanted to import more food from China, it needed to change its regulations to stop safety being compromised.

"We actually have a very reactive screening process going on, but the question is how much product can we actually screen at any one given time," he said.

"You've got an enormous amount coming in.

"As we keep reducing the amount of services that we put in this area, and trying to speed up the process and throughput, gaps occur and this causes unintended consequences."

Adamson said the solution involved setting strict conditions and requirements to export to Australia.

"This is what we use under the Australian import risk assessment procedure where we say these are the rules we would like you to use," he said.

"The problem we have is these can be challenged either by a trading agreement or within the World Trade Organisation."

Consumer watchdog, Choice, has called on the Federal Government to take action on country of origin food labelling while Australian-Made has issued a warning to check country-of-origin labelling.

Choice said the Committee on Agriculture and Industry’s recommendations in October last year regarding country-of-origin missed an opportunity to simplify the system.

“One of the products in the latest recall, Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries, is listed on the Coles website as being ‘Packed in Australia using imported fruit’.  This claim is totally meaningless when it comes to the country of origin of the fruit inside the pack.”

“Consumers shouldn’t have to use country of origin labelling as a proxy for food safety, we should be able to purchase food on sale in our supermarkets knowing it’s safe to eat regardless of its origin.”

 

Hepatitis contamination prompts calls for stricter labelling

Consumer watchdog, Choice, has called on the Federal Government to take action on country of origin food labelling following the national recall of frozen mixed berries.

The recall comes in the wake of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Industry’s recommendations in October last year that food country of origin labelling needs to change.

“Unfortunately for consumers the Committee missed an opportunity to simplify the system and this latest issue illustrates the challenge we have in trying to make informed decisions about where our food comes from,” says Choice spokesperson Tom Godfrey.

“One of the products in the latest recall, Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries, is listed on the Coles website as being ‘Packed in Australia using imported fruit’.  This claim is totally meaningless when it comes to the country of origin of the fruit inside the pack.”

“Consumers shouldn’t have to use country of origin labelling as a proxy for food safety, we should be able to purchase food on sale in our supermarkets knowing it’s safe to eat regardless of its origin.”

“Australians should be able to make informed choices about the food they eat. We are renewing our call for simplification of country-of-origin labelling. It’s time to give consumers the information they want, remove the information they don’t, and test the way we label our food to make sure it’s meaningful.”

“We strongly urge the Federal Government to take action on country of origin labelling and end the confusion for consumers when they enter the supermarket.”

Choice has called for:

  • ‘Product of Australia’ or “Australian produce” = significant ingredients and virtually all processing to be from the country claimed
  • ‘Manufactured in Australia’ = Relating solely to manufacturing
  • ‘Packaged in Australia’ = Relates solely to manufacturing
  • Consumer testing of any changes to ensure they are meaningful

In response to the recall, The Australian Made Campaign has issued a warning to check country-of-origin labelling.

“This issue exemplifies the differences in health and safety standards for the production of food around the world,” Australian Made Chief Executive, Ian Harrison said.

“Australia's clean, green environment helps produce exceptionally high quality food, but moreover, our strict regulatory framework ensures Australian-grown produce is also safe to eat, and we encourage consumers to consider this factor when choosing what to buy.”

The Australian Made Campaign is the not-for-profit organisation that administers and promotes Australia's registered country-of-origin certification trade mark, the Australian Made, Australian Grown kangaroo logo.

“Imported food products which are packed in Australia – as was the case in this instance – do not qualify to use the symbol.”

 

Hepatitis contamination likely due to poor hygiene

The contamination of two Patties frozen berry brands with hepatitis A has been traced back China, where the berries were grown.

According to ABC News, poor hygiene amongst Chinese workers as well as potentially contaminated water supplies in China are thought to be the likely causes of an outbreak of hepatitis A in Australia linked to frozen berries.

Five cases of hepatitis A linked to the product are confirmed in New South Wales and Victoria, prompting a national.

Patties Foods initially advised consumers not to eat Nanna’s Mixed Berries on Friday, announcing the recall on Saturday and extending it to the Gourmet Mixed brand on Sunday.

The national consumer recall is for:

  • Nanna’s Mixed Berries 1kg, All Batches up to and including Best Before Date 22/11/16
  • Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries 300g, All Batches up to and including Best Before Date 10/12/17 
  • Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries 500g, All Batches up to and including Best Before Date 06/10/17

The berries came from China and Chile and were distributed by Patties Foods, which is based in Bairnsdale, east Victoria.

Patties Foods, the company who distributed the berries, said it was likely to cut ties with its unnamed Chinese supplier.

Dr Finn Romanes from Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the contamination had been traced back to China.

"The particular risk that we've identified here is that a country that has endemic hepatitis A, that is China, has been involved with packing these berries, sourced from both Chile and China," Dr Romanes said.

The recall follows advice from the Victorian Health Department of potential Hepatitis A contamination and an investigation is continuing with state and national health authorities.

Patties has increased staff and extended the opening hours of its consumer hotline to between 7am and 9pm, until further notice.

Patties Foods MD & CEO, Steven Chaur, said “while our quality control testing to date has not revealed any concerns with the food safety of either product, further detailed testing is being done and the recall is an important step to ensure public safety and confidence.

“We have decided that all our frozen Mixed Berries should be recalled until such time as we receive the results of further laboratory tests,” Chaur said.

Grocery customers have been advised to remove the product from sale, and Consumer Recall advertising is being conducted in national daily newspapers. Patties Foods advises consumers not to eat the product, and return packs to the place of purchase for a full cash refund.

All other Nanna’s, Creative Gourmet and Patties Foods products remain unaffected by this recall.

Mark Smith, Patties chairman said in a statement it is too early at this stage to ascertain whether the product recalls will have any financial impact on the company and if so, whether that impact will be material. This aspect is also being monitored and the market will be informed promptly and without delay if there are any material developments.  

 

Listeria contamination provokes chicken pasta salad recall

The Zimbulis Caribbean mango chicken pasta salad has been recalled in WA due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

The Zimbulis Caribbean mango chicken pasta salad with a February 12, 2015 use-by date has been recalled in WA due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

The salad was sold over-the-counter at the delicatessen sections of Woolworths, IGAs and corner shops in Western Australia

Listeria is unlike many other germs because it can grow in cold temperatures, like those in a fridge.

It has an incubation period of three to 70 days.

Ready-to-eat deli meats are the food most associated with L. monocytogenes, which can grow at refrigerator temperatures, unlike Salmonella and E. coli.

Listeria may cause illness in pregnant women and their unborn babies, the elderly and people with low immune systems.

Food contaminated with L. monocytogenes will not show signs of spoilage, such as sliminess or odour.

New research in the U.S. has found listeria contamination is more likely to occur at a retail level than manufacturing.

 

Glass contamination fears prompt olive recall

Woolworths has issued a recall for its Homebrand Sliced Black Olives due to possible glass contamination.

Only the 430g jars of olives with a best before of 4 July 2016 are being recalled, no other products are affected by this recall.

The recalled product has been sold in Woolworths stores in New South Wales and Western Australia only. No other states or territories are affected by this recall.

It’s the first food-related recall for Woolworths for the year, with last year’s recalls including its range of Macro nut spreads due to undeclared traces of peanuts and tree nuts and a recall of its Select Finishing Sauce Caramelised Onion & Roasted Garlic Reduction 165g due to the presence of undeclared milk due to a packaging error.

 

Golden Circle Sliced Beetroot recalled

HJ Heinz Company Australia has issued a recall for its Golden Circle Beetroot Slices 450g nationally due to potential microbial growth.

The company informed Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) on 20 October, 2014 that a processing error may have occurred, leading to the potential for microbial growth due to low liquid levels in the tin can.

The product was distributed throughout Coles, Woolworths, IGA, convenience stores and some petrol stations nationally.

The products batch code is WO0544

 

Woolworths issues recall of Macro raw food bars

Supermarket giant Woolworths has issued a national recall of two of its Macro Wholefoods Market Raw Food Bars.

All batches and best before dates of the Chocolate Flavoured 50g, and the Chocolate and Mint Flavoured 50g Macro Wholefoods Market Raw Food Bars may contain traces of peanuts, posing a possible threat to customers with a peanut allergy if consumed.

The products have been sold in Woolworths, Safeway and Thomas Dux stores nationally.

The recall of the Macro Raw Food Bars marks the second national recall within the Macro range this month. On 1 October, Woolworths recalled its range of Macro nut spreads due to undeclared traces of peanuts and tree nuts.

The supermarket giant also issued a recall for its Homebrand Beef Mince Regular 500g on 26 September due to the possibility that the product could contain soft blue food grade plastic fragments.

 

 

Woolworths recalls Macro nut spreads due to undeclared allergens

Woolworths is recalling its range of Macro nut spreads nationally due to undeclared traces of peanuts and tree nuts.

Every product in the range is being recalled regardless of the best before date. The Macro Natural Almond Spread 250g and the Marco Natural Cashew Spread 250g were found to contain traces of undeclared peanuts, while the Macro Organic Peanut Butter Crunchy 375g and 800g, and the Marco Organic Peanut Butter Smooth 375g and 800g were found to contain undeclared traces of tree nuts.

The products are sold through Woolworths, Thomas Dux and Safeway stores nationally.

Woolworths have apologised form any inconvenience caused by the recall and have urged consumers to return the products to their closest Woolworths, Safeway or Thomas Dux store for a full refund.

This marks the second recall for the Woolworths group this week. The supermarket giant issued a recall for its Homebrand Beef Mince Regular 500g on 26 September as it may contain soft blue food grade plastic fragments.

 

Woolworths recalls Homebrand mince and Honey Poppas

Woolworths has recalled Homebrand Beef Mince Regular 500g as it may contain soft blue food grade plastic fragments.

The recall only applies to mince sold in Woolworths stores in WA from 21 September 2014 with a best before date of 29 September 2014.

The supermarket has also recalled Woolworths Homebrand Honey Poppas 250g, with a best before date between 7 July 2015 and 1 August 2015.

The product has been sold in Woolworths and Safeway Supermarkets Nationally from 14 July 2014.

The recall is being conducted by the supplier, Hubbard Foods Pty Ltd and Woolworths as it may contain glass.

 

Glass found in cereal

 

Coles supermarkets is recalling its Coles Brand Right Start Fruit and Fibre after glass was found in the product.

The recall is for the 600g product with a best before date of 11 July 2014 sold in Coles and BI-LO stores throughout Australia.

The product is being recalled due to the potential foreign matter – glass.

Coles said it is working with its supplier to understand how the foreign matter may have been included in the product and will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Coles have apologised for any inconvenience and said the product with a Best Before date of 11 July 2015 should be returned to a Coles or BI-LO store for a full refund.

 

Heinz recalls infant cereal in China

Excessive lead levels found in US food manufacturer Heinz’ infant food products has spurred a recall in China.

Heinz said it recalled four batches of a cereal product for infants after eastern China regulators said they found lead that exceeded regulation levels in its AD Calcium Hi-Protein Cereal, ABC News reports.

Standard levels for infant products should be below 0.2 milligrams per kilogram, according to a 2010 government report.

Heinz, known globally for its ketchup and baked beans, said the recall of the product was a precautionary measure.

The company, which was bought out by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc and private equity firm 3G Capital last year, added that the issue was linked to a skimmed soybean powder ingredient used in the product.

"This relates to an isolated regional withdrawal in eastern China," company spokesman Michael Mullen said in emailed comments to Reuters.

"Extensive testing confirmed that no other Heinz baby food varieties are affected."

The Zhejiang Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said the problem affected 1,472 boxes of cereal in the province and that Heinz had told the agency it would destroy another 153 boxes that are sealed in a warehouse in the southern city of Guangzhou.

The regulator urged Heinz to compensate its customers over the recall.

The affected cereal product is aimed at infants aged between six months and three years, according to the packaging.

Heinz apologised for inconvenience caused to consumers and moved to assure shoppers that the firm was committed to food quality and safety.

Chinese parents are already sensitive to food safety scares after powdered milk tainted with the industrial chemical melamine led to the deaths of at least six infants in 2008.

Foreign brands do well in China's baby food market, because parents are willing to pay a premium to guarantee quality and safety.

 

Woolworths recalls cheese after consumer bites into safety pin

Woolworths has recalled 500g blocks of its Homebrand tasty cheese after a consumer bit into a safety pin buried in the product.

According to SMH, NSW resident Patrick McMullen found a safety pin in a piece of cheese he was chewing on on Wednesday 30 July.

"It felt like my tooth had broken. I spat it out and it was a safety pin. I could easily have swallowed it, but I didn’t,” he said.

McMullen immediately contacted Woolworths and the product has since been withdrawn from sale across the country.

"We immediately withdrew the product from sale and instigated an investigation into the incident including with our supplier. The investigation is ongoing and we continue to speak with the customer,” a Woolworths spokesperson said.
 

Mondelez’s Marvellous Creations chocolate bar recalled

A Marvellous Creations chocolate bar has been recalled due to foreign matter contamination.

The Marvellous Creations Jelly Popping Candy Beanies 50g chocolate bar (with Best Before date markings of 25/02/15 and 26/02/15) has been recalled nationally from Coles, Wooworths, IGA, Kmart, Big W, convenience stores and some petrol stations. The chocolate also features in Cadbury Fundraiser Joyville Sweet Treat Box and Cadbury Dairy Milk Variety Box sold only at Costco stores, as well as in some Cadbury showbags.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand has listed the presence of foreign matter (small plastic pieces) as the reason for the recall.

Consumers are being advised not to eat the chocolate bar, but to return it to its place of purchase for a refund.
 

S-26 formula given all-clear

A batch of S-26 baby formula has been given the all-clear after a Sydney woman discovered a dead lizard in her tin.

Aspen Nutritionals has received the test results for a batch of S-26 Original Progress baby formula, with a report from the manufacturing plant stating that the batch is “wholesome and passed all chemical, physical, microbiological (including pathogens) and sensory specifications at the time it was released into the market,” a statement from Aspen reads.

The product, it confirms, is safe for consumption.

A Sydney woman discovered a dead lizard in her tin of S-26 earlier this month, and the NSW Food Authority has confirmed that a herpetologist (expert in reptiles) identified the lizard as a common house gecko, which can be found throughout Asia and also in Australia.

“Aspen Nutritionals cannot determine conclusively how and where the lizard entered the can. We have only received one complaint of this nature for this batch and believe this is an isolated incident,” the statement reads.

The batch of formula was voluntarily recalled after the lizard was discovered.

 

S-26 baby formula recalled after dead lizard incident

Aspen Nutritionals Australia is voluntarily recalling a batch of baby formula after a Sydney woman found a dead lizard in her tin of S-26 Original Progress.

The affected batch number is 40727482A2, and Stephen Voordouw, general manager at Aspen Nutritionals Australia, said consumers can have confidence that other S-26 products are safe for consumption.

“From our discussion with the complainant we have confirmed that the product can, its contents and packaging will be returned to the NSW Food Authority. It will then be thoroughly tested as a matter of urgency in an independent laboratory here in Australia, and also at the manufacturing site,” he said.

“In the meantime, as a precaution, we are withdrawing only the affected batch from the trade. Other products in the S-26 range are not affected.”

Voordouw added that no previous complaints of this type have been made and that the formula is made in a plant that is fully compliant with global and Australian quality standards.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this voluntary batch withdrawal may cause. In the meantime, an alternative batch of S-26 Original Progress will be distributed from our warehouse today (14 July) and should be available in most retail outlets by the end of the week,” said Voordouw.

 

Dead lizard found in S-26 baby formula

A Sydney mother has suggested that S-26 should recall a batch of its infant formula after she discovered a dead lizard in a newly purchased tin.

Artilina Castanares opened the new tin on Friday and discovered the dead lizard, then immediately contacted the company’s head office, Aspen Australia, which advised her that a response could take six to eight weeks, the SMH reports.

“I’m in shock,” Castanares said. "You don’t take any risk when it comes to our children. In the meantime, you would be recalling the product or at least that batch.”

The S-26 Original Process formula is made and packaged in Singapore.

 

Pure Pies recalled due to foreign matter found in the product

A number of Victoria pies are being recalled after glass was found inside the product.

Pure Pie Pty Ltd has recalled its Free Range Braised Beef, Red Wine & Rosemary Pie (280g and 950g) from its retail store, independent supermarkets, cafés and specialty stores.

The recall applies to products packaged in a cardboard box with a best before date of 9 July for the 280g pies, and 11 July for both the 280g and 950g pies.

Consumers with the pastries are encouraged to return them to their place of purchase for a full refund.

 

Woolworths recalls Macro porridge over undeclared allergen

Supermarket giant Woolworths have issued a recall for its Macro Five Grain Porridge 750g due to an undeclared allergen in the form of sesame seeds.

The product is for sale in Woolworths, Safeway and Thomas Dux stores nationally.

The recall applies only to product with a best before date if 24/04/15, and the supermarket has emphasised that no other products have been affected by the recall.

Two weeks ago Woolworths issued a recall after a customer found a complete metal blade inside a Woolworths Baby Macro Organic Tomato Chicken with Pasta Puree 120g.

Woolworths has said the recall was based on an isolated incident.