Frozen Berry Assurance from Barker’s
You may be aware of the recent cases of Hepatitis A linked to frozen berry products
You may be aware of recent news articles in New Zealand indicating that imported berries could be a source of the virus Hepatitis A. A similar incident occurred in February this year in Australia and highlights the ongoing need for consumers to be aware of the risks of consuming untreated berries.
While this story is still unfolding and until we know more, we endorse media recommendations to heat treat all berry fruit.
We also want to reassure customers that all fruit products manufactured by Barker’s are cooked and fully heat treated, in such a way as to ensure that all food pathogens (including viruses that might be present on frozen fruit) cannot survive.
Our manufacture process
Andrew Scholz, an accredited thermal processing consultant has supplied Barker’s with the information below:
“For acid and acidified foods, the US FDA recognised criteria for pathogen control of E.coli, listeria and salmonella is the equivalent of 20.0 minutes at 65.5°C or 2 minutes at 72.0°C. We target other spoilage micro-organisms which are more heat resistant, which is why the cook in pan process or continuous processes for these types of products are typically 5.0 minutes at 85°C up to 10 minutes at 95.0°C, depending on pH, which in essence negates any risk of pathogens surviving the terminal heat process.”
All products manufactured at Barker’s are subject to a thermal process (our minimum heat treatment is 75°C for 10 minutes) which exceeds the lethal temperature for all food pathogens including viruses.
Our fruit suppliers
The credibility of our brands and the brands of our customers is of paramount importance to us and as a result Barker’s only purchase fruit from approved suppliers who have an externally audited food safety accredited program in place. The validity of this program is monitored by Barker’s.
Our accredited supplier food safety program and our minimum heat treatment (75°C for 10 minutes for all products), ensures that our products are free from all and any risk from pathogens.
We hope this information helps to reassure you that Barker’s is and will remain, unaffected by the recent events. If you have any further queries regarding this please contact our Customer Services team on 0800 227 537 FREE (NZ) or 1800 145 745 (AUST) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.