An Australian woman has lost her life after eating a pomegranate 'contaminated with hepatitis A'
Over the course of 2018, the world has been afflicted by a series of food contaminations. Back in May, the CDC declared that romaine lettuce was safe to eat, but for four months before that, an E Coli outbreak had terrorised the United States, hospitalising 89 with five people losing their lives. Alongside that, 207 million eggs were recalled after 35 people were taken ill with salmonella.
It's a concerning development for food lovers, and the most worrying aspect is that these outbreaks are not limited to the United States. A woman in South Australia has died after eating a frozen pomegranate which was reportedly contaminated with Hepatitis A. Out in New South Wales, a 64-year-old woman lost her life in a rare and tragic case, health authorities said.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported the South Australian Health organisation (SA Health) first issued a warning about the Hepatitis A outbreak back in April related to a frozen pomegranate by the brand Creative Gourmet, when a precautionary recall of the product was issued. This warning was reissued back in May, and now, it appears the pomegranate has taken its first life.
In the wake of the woman's death, South Australia chief medical officer Paddy Phillips said that while this woman's death was the first of the Hepatitis A outbreak, the proper precautions should be taken in order to ensure this outbreak remains under wraps, saying that since the recall was over two months ago, he didn't expect to see any more deaths.
"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."
Phillips said that while as many as 2,000 packets of the pomegranates - which were grown in Egypt - were sold, but only 226 packets have been returned. "This is a rare and tragic case and I offer my sincere condolences to the woman's family," he added, while also confirming that the woman's death had been referred to the coroner.
Entyce Food Ingredients, the parent company of Creative Gourmet, also expressed their regret about the Hepatitis A outbreak.
"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."
According to the NHS, Hepatitis A is classified as a liver infection that usually is spread through faecal matter. While the disease usually takes around 15 to 50 days for symptoms to show, some people can suffer with liver failure, and the NHS says that one in 250 could lose their lives. Typically, symptoms of Hepatitis A include yellowing of the skin, dark urine and pale stools, while sufferers of Hepatitis A can also report high fevers, and a lack of an appetite.