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Chinese berry supplier taken to court over Patties' hepatitis outbreak

The clean up from a hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen berries has landed in court, with Patties Foods seeking millions of dollars in compensation from the supplier that sourced the infected fruit from China.

In a statement of claim filed in the Supreme Court of Victoria, Patties says Australian food wholesaler Entyce Food Ingredients breached a supply agreement by providing food that was not safe for human consumption.

Patties said it had to dispose of $3.8 million worth of berries held in storage, and as of May had paid out $41,389 in compensation to seven customers who were infected from the berries.

The company incurred another $5 million in loses because of the outbreak and recall, including spending $196,576 advertising the recall, $198,591 running a call centre, $136,942 employing public relations professionals, $597,788 removing products from shelves, and $24,920 on social media.

Patties, best known for making Four'n Twenty pies, says its loss of earnings totalled $4.4 million and is seeking damages plus interest.

Entyce is contesting the claim, and rejects that it owed Patties a warranty that its berries be uncontaminated and fit for human consumption.

Source: brisbanetimes.com.au

Publication date: 9/6/2017


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