You may expect to pick up many things when you go to the supermarket but it is guaranteed that hepatitis is not one of them!
With more than a dozen confirmed cases to date across the country and the very real possibility of many more to come, this is the frightening reality facing those who purchased frozen berries from China.
Hepatitis A is a virus that attacks the liver, causing jaundice, nausea and vomiting that can last for a period of up to eight weeks. Perhaps the most concerning thing is that, as it is highly contagious and the symptoms usually take weeks to show up, you can realistically pass it to others.
There is one thing for certain - if the berries had come from Australia then this never would have happened.
We keep importing more and more food from overseas while there is no shortage of good food produced right here in Oz. The biggest culprit in squeezing out Aussie farmers are the supermarkets as they fight to control the food chain with their own brands. They unfortunately have no hesitation in buying cheaper produce from overseas, squeezing Aussie farmers off their farms in the process.
Of enormous concern to the Australian public are the health risks associated with purchasing products that are sourced from overseas as their food safety and hygiene practices, in many cases, are highly questionable at best. In contrast, Australian food producers are subject to some of the highest standards of food safety in the world.
Given the choice, many choose to buy an Australian product as it is simply how they keep their family safe.
Staunch "Buy Australian Made and Produced" advocate Dick Smith agrees that more and more shoppers are turning to lesser quality products from overseas simply because they are cheaper. In the light of the hepatitis A outbreak he has a launched a new ad campaign aimed at fighting this trend.
Click here to read more and watch Dick Smith's warning to consumers on "A Current Affair" aired Tuesday 17 February, 2015.
Sadly, though shoppers say that they will buy Australian products, the reality is that when they get to the shop they often buy the cheaper foreign products.
In buying foreign food products consumers run the very real risk of poisoning themselves to save a buck.
Hopefully with the frozen berry crisis consumers will stop and think about where and how the food is produced.
Source : The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 February 2015