Apples and peaches on sale across the country could have been
contaminated with Hepatitis A, the Ministry for Primary
The ministry advised consumers to cook suspect fruit
thoroughly before eating it or dispose of it.
A worker at a Hawke's Bay packhouse was handling Royal Gala
and New Zealand Beauty apples and Golden Queen peaches over a
four-day period while infected with the virus.
The ministry said the risk of contracting the illness from
the fruit, sold between February 27 and March 13, was
While some potentially affected fruit had been traced and
withdrawn from sale, it was likely about 1400 cartons had
been sold, ministry deputy director general Scott Gallacher
All the fruit was for domestic sale.
Hepatitis A virus can remain infectious on the surface of
fruit for months and transmit infection to other handlers and
Early symptoms are fever, loss of appetite, stomach pains and
nausea. Further signs include skin jaundice, yellowing of the
whites of eyes, dark urine and pale bowel motions.
Mr Gallacher said anyone with health concerns should contact
The warning affects:
*Royal Gala apples from: All Countdown, Fresh Choice and
Super Value and supermarkets in the North Island.
*Golden Queen peaches from: All Countdown, Fresh Choice,
Super Value and supermarkets in the North Island. Pak'n Save,
New World and Four Square supermarkets from to Taupo to
*New Zealand Beauty apples from: All Countdown, Fresh Choice
and Super Value supermarkets in the South Island.