Chilean fruit industry denies links to Australian Hep A scare
The Chilean Association of Fruit Exporters (ASOEX) has emphasized its country's fruit is not to blame for a recent recall of a frozen berry products in Australia.
Victoria-based Patties Foods recalled its 1kg 'Nanna's Frozen Mixed Berries' after five people contracted Hepatitis A, and on Sunday it also recalled its 300g and 500g 'Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries', which are imported from Chile and China.
However, in a statement ASOEX said the Chilean berries would have most likely been re-packed by Chinese shippers.
"Exports of fresh Chilean blueberries, as well as other berries, are not authorized to enter the Australian market. Therefore, it is impossible that this involves a product sent directly from our country to that market," the group said.
ASOEX added the berries would have been manipulated in China, "where a group of Chilean blueberries would have been mixed with strawberries, blackberries and raspberries that were grown, it seems, in the Chinese market - a situation that could have come from a contamination".
The industry body emphasized that Chilean blueberries had never been the protagonist in any health problems in a destination market.