The article titled “Hepatitis A Cases in Hungary Prompt Berry Mix Recall” describes the outbreak of hepatitis A in Hungary following a dinner at a restaurant where people who developed the disease ate a berry mix. The mix is produced in Poland and has been distributed to a vast number of countries including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, the UK and some others (Whitworth, 2022). Immediately after the accident, notifications were sent to all concerned countries to destroy the product and investigation was made into the reasons why this occurrence took place. It turned out that safety procedures were violated at the enterprise and that is why hepatitis A contamination took place.
The accident could have been prevented if measures had been taken to ensure that the products that cross the border were free of harmful bacteria and organisms. These measures include the establishment of National Food Control Systems that would allow monitoring “the entire chain namely production, packing, storage, transport, handling and sale of foods within national borders” in the country of product origin (UN ESCAP, 2018, p. 30). Moreover, shifting focus from inspecting food to inspecting production facilities could be beneficial for ensuring high quality of food. Another measure that could have helped in this case is “properly designed import and export control systems” that would have singled out harmful substances within products before they were delivered to another country (UN ESCAP, 2018, p. 30).
To reduce the risks of contaminated or unsafe products crossing the borders, countries can harmonize international standards of food safety so that there are universal demands for all global food suppliers across the countries. Secondly, there should be a developed system of communication about methods of sampling, inspection, and testing that are used in different countries since often the receiving country is not aware of what procedures have been obtained in the country of origin to ensure the quality of the product. Finally, it is essential to enhance the understanding of specific hazards in different value chains depending on the market they are produced for.
UN ESCAP (2018). Facilitating compliance to food safety and quality for cross-border trade. ESCAP Publications. Web.
Whitworth, J. (2022) Hepatitis A cases in Hungary prompt berry mix recall. Food Safety News. Web.