Hepatitis A berries – fear not with Aussie grown

Following another Hepatitis A contamination fracas concerning imported berries, it is clear the safest choice for berry-lovers Australia-wide, is to buy from our own backyard.

In our recent media release, confirming we’re one of only a handful of premium frozen berry suppliers who source entirely from Australian farms, we reassure the public that buying Australian grown means the berries are not only safe, quality controlled and sustainable, but they’re also delicious.

Local Producers Building Trust: My Berries

Allison and Stuart McGruddy, the founders of the frozen berry company, My Berries, invited me to their warehouse in Caboolture to discuss all things berry and create a delicious recipe that combines our unique products. My Berries are all about locally grown, 100% Australian produce and the difference is clear in the quality of their berries.

Like Maleny Dairies, My Berries was founded by an Australian family who are, according to Stuart;

“Not afraid to get into a David and Goliath scenario.”

While more people are becoming educated about what it takes to bring milk to their table, berries remain a mystery to many Queenslanders. These small bushes are incredibly labour intensive to harvest and labour costs can account for 50% of farmer’s outlays.

Berries are Forever

For Stuart, an ex-London executive chef who returned home for a better life for his family, berries never go out of season.

“I’m really excited that it’s mango season right now but by the end of mango season, I’m sick of mangoes. When it comes to berries I never get to that saturation point.”

The warehouse holds a seriously industrial kitchen with all the bells and whistles needed for Stuart to come up with new recipes. Stuart reckons berries match all seasons with winter being a great time for warming, baked dishes while Spring and Summer inspire spritzy, light creations.

“It’s all about providing accessibility to a nutritionally dense, delicious and affordable product, even to people living in remote areas.”

 

 Trusting in Frozen

Customer confidence in frozen produce crashed last year when there was a Hepatitis A outbreak due to contaminated imported frozen berries. In much the same way as the Milk Crisis has encouraged the public to question the origins and quality of produce, this outbreak highlighted the safety concerns around raw products from overseas. Stuart is proud to be able to restore some faith in frozen.

“With our locally grown berries, we can give people confidence in the safety of the products as we source our berries from farms with excellent safety certification.”

100 Ways With Berries

According to Allison, who runs stalls at local Farmers Markets every Saturday (Davies Park Market, West End, and Jan Power’s Farmers Markets at The Brisbane Powerhouse, New Farm) people use their frozen berries in smoothies, conserves, in granola, on porridge and as snacks straight from the packet for teething babies.

“There is always a story about what people are doing with them and it’s great to connect with people through our farmer’s market stalls.”

My Berries now have over 60 stockists including some IGA’s, independent grocers and delis. A full list of stockists can be found at myberries.com.au.

GrowCom Magazine

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Growcom is the voice of Queensland horticulture. It is an industry body offering a range of services to meet the needs of grower members and their commodity groups. Each month they release Fruit and Vegetable News and it is read by commercial fruit and vegetable growers and those with a vested interest in the industry. We were humbled to feature in their latest magazine.

Click here to read the whole article.

news.com.au

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For the time poor, this article is a great reminder of how stocking our freezers with wholesome foods can get us through the week and keep us healthy. It seems that My Berries frozen range is all part of that plan – yah! While the article gives us a nice ‘shout out’ we were a little surprised about the author’s throwaway comment about last year’s ‘health scare’. That was just a little more than a health scare. In March 2015, the Department of Health found that 28 people were infected with Hepatitis A and all of these cases were linked to the consumption of imported frozen berries. We believe food provenance is more important than ever.

Click here to read the whole article.

Lifestyle Food

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Every year we take part in Regional Flavours, a wonderful festival showcasing Queensland’s best produce. This year the Regional Flavours team offered us the opportunity to share a recipe on the Lifestyle Food website. We decided on a wonderful Raw Raspberry Slice recipe featuring our frozen raspberries. It’s delicious!

Click here to get the recipe.