A class action suit is looming for Patties, as Slater and Gordon encourage those who contracted Hepatitis A after eating the berries to come forward.
Slater and Gordon said the “nature of this contamination scare may also give rise to claims for compensation, and there are a number of legal issues to consider.”
The Australian Consumer Law regulates matters concerning the safety and quality of goods sold within Australia, and treats the local distributors of imported goods as though they were the manufacturers of their products. In this way, companies that sell consumer products in Australia, whether local or imported, can be held responsible for the quality of the goods they trade in.
Under The Australian Consumer Law, individuals who were injured as a result of a safety defect in goods have the right to claim compensation against the relevant manufacturer.
13 cases of Hepatitis A in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and WA have been linked to frozen raspberries imported from China and repackaged by Bairnsdale-based Patties Foods.
The law firm said it has been contacted by “a number of people” who are concerned about their health and legal rights.
The Department of Agriculture has formally requested a review of the risk status of frozen berries from FSANZ and is seeking assurances from China about the safety of further shipments of frozen berries.
Assistant Minister for health, Fiona Nash, said “Once FSANZ reports back to us with the information it is seeking from Chinese food authorities, we will be able to assess whether further steps need to be taken.
“If, upon consideration of all available information, the circumstances require a review of current arrangements or improvements to the system, we will act on this.”
Products included in the recall are: Nanna’s Raspberries 1kg, Nanna’s Mixed Berries 1kg and Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries 300g and 500g.