An Australian woman has been killed by a pomegranate contaminated with hepatitis A

  • An Australian woman has died in a "rare and tragic" case.
  • The 64-year-old contracted hepatitis A from a frozen pomegranate product.
  • The product had been recalled two months ago.
  • Deaths from hepatitis A are extremely rare — just one in 250 people who contract the infection suffer life-threatening complications.


A 64-year-old Australian woman has died after eating a frozen pomegranate that was contaminated with hepatitis A.

The Australian-owned Creative Gourmet product she was eating had been recalled two months ago, according to the The Sydney Morning Herald. However, it can take between 15 and 50 days before symptoms of hepatitis A become apparent.

"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," South Australia chief medical officer Paddy Phillips said.

"While we expect most people would have disposed of the recalled product, we urge everyone to double-check freezers and remove any affected products."

creative gourmet frozen pomegranate arilsImage credit: Creative Gourmet

Phillips said that 2,000 packets of the Egyptian-grown pomegranate arils were sold to the public but just 226 packets had been returned. Fresh and locally-grown pomegranates were not affected.

According to Britain's NHS, hepatitis A is a liver infection that's usually spread through fecal matter.

Most people recover within two months, though the infection can be deadly if it causes the liver to stop working.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include yellowing of the skin, dark urine and pale stools, loss of appetite, and a fever.

The NHS says life-threatening complications such as liver failure affect just one in 250 people who contract hepatitis A.

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Hepatitis A outbreak in California
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Hepatitis A outbreak in California
Rows of tents are seen at the city's works yard as the city of San Diego opens a transitional camp area for homeless people following a hepatitis A breakout in San Diego, California, U.S., October 9, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A San Diego Police Department outreach team helps in dealing with a homeless and hepatitis A outbreak as the city sets up a transitional camp area for homeless people at the city's works yard in San Diego, California, U.S., October 9, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Rows of tents are seen at the city's works yard as the city of San Diego opens a transitional camp area for homeless people following a hepatitis A breakout in San Diego, California, U.S., October 9, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Rows of tents are seen at the city's works yard as the city of San Diego opens a transitional camp area for homeless people following a hepatitis A breakout in San Diego, California, U.S., October 9, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The city of San Diego has opened a transitional camp area for homeless people at the city's works yard to deal with hepatitis A outbreak among the homeless in San Diego, California, U.S., October 9, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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