The prospect of more injury claims for hepatitis A compensation has increased after the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) issued another safety alert over imported frozen berries.
Last summer, the FSAI warned consumers to boil imported frozen berries for more than a minute before eating them, after the berries were found to be a common denominator in a number of cases in which patients had been diagnosed with the hepatitis A virus.
In the past twelve months, 1,440 cases of unexplained Hepatitis A have been reported across Europe, with 331 cases (21 cases in Ireland) confirmed as being attributable to imported frozen berries, and the FSAI has once again issued the warning for consumers to boil frozen fruit before using it to destroy the virus if it is present.
The FSAI was quick to comment that there is no risk of the illness from fresh berries or frozen berries that originate from Ireland, but Professor Alan Reilly – chief executive of the FSAI – recommended that all fruits should be washed before eating them.
Professor Reilly also warned consumers of the threat of illness from mass-produced food products manufactured for the catering industry. He said that catering companies should source any berries they use in their food products from reputable suppliers with food safety management systems in place.
The new alert increases the likelihood of fresh injury claims for hepatitis A compensation. Claims for compensation for hepatitis A from imported frozen berries can be made against any store, supermarket or food outlet which has sold contaminated food provided that an injury has occurred as a result.
The problem for retailers is that symptoms of hepatitis A can remain undetected for a period of up to fifty days. Consequently, a retailer may have sold a packet of imported frozen berries long before the new alert was issued by the FSAI, and still be the liable party in injury claims for hepatitis A compensation.
A different problem for potential plaintiffs exists if they have not retained the receipt from their purchase to prove that the contaminated berries were purchased from a specific retailer. Proof of purchase is not always necessary in order for injury claims for Hepatitis A compensation to be successful, and if you have been diagnosed with a hepatitis A illness which you suspect may have originated from eating imported frozen berries, it is advisable to speak with a solicitor at the earliest possible moment.