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February 25, 2015

Australia to introduce new food origin labelling regulations

The Australian Government has announced it will introduce a new food labelling law in the wake of the hepatitis A outbreak from imported frozen berries.

The Australian Government has announced it will introduce a new food labelling law in the wake of the hepatitis A outbreak from imported frozen berries.

It will require food packaging labels to include a pie chart that breaks down the country-of-origin for all ingredients, Bloomberg reported.

"Whenever we have a problem with imported food in particular, people want to know more about where their food, where their products are coming from."

Bloomberg quoted Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott as saying: "Whenever we have a problem with imported food in particular, people want to know more about where their food, where their products are coming from."

The government is also planning to improve bio-security screening. A submission, led by Australian Federal Industry Minister Ian MacFarlane and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, will be presented to the cabinet by the end of next month.

The submission includes using symbols and larger print on packaging to show whether food is Australian grown or imported.

Around 18 cases of hepatitis A associated with the consumption of the berries were reported.

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As reported in the Guardian, the Department of Agriculture admitted that other frozen berries are entering the country without undergoing extra surveillance.

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