Belgium recall same curcumin-based supplement linked to Italian hepatitis cases

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Belgium’s Federal Agency for Food Chain Safety (AFSCA) warns consumers to avoid the same curcumin-based supplement known to Italian authorities after the country also reports cases of acute cholestatic hepatitis.

In latest developments of the recent situation in Italy​, AFSCA issue a notification recalling Nutrimea’s Curcuma Liposomal & black pepper food supplement manufactured by the French company Plastimea.

Its batch number, ‘1810224,’ and expiry date ‘10/2021’ are identical to the product details highlighted by Italy’s National Institute of Health, which along with 17 other turmeric-containing goods, are heavily linked to the outbreak of hepatitis.

We received a notification through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), system by the Italian authority,” ​said a spokesperson for AFSCA.  

“Among the various food supplements referred to in this RASFF, only one has been found on the Belgian market.

“The Italian authorities are carrying out analyses to identify the exact source of these cases of acute cholestatic hepatitis.

“We remain in contact with the various authorities who are concerned throughout the investigations. To this day, investigations are still ongoing in Italy.”

Period of sale

Further details identify sales of the product in question to be between ‘23/10/2018 – 24/05/2019’. Additionally, the product has been distributed via Amazon France and also Nutrimea’s own website.

The Agency said the exact source of contamination had not yet been established, but added it was likely due to the presence of this curcumin source.

“Through the RASFF notification, the Italian authorities reported to us cases of non-infectious and non-contagious acute cholestatic hepatitis likely to be linked to the consumption of food supplements based on curcumin and piperine,” ​AFSCA said.

“As of 20 June​, the National Institute of Health in Italy has identified 21 cases of non-infectious and non-contagious acute cholestatic hepatitis likely to be linked to the consumption of curcumin-based food supplements. Cases of hepatitis have been reported on Italian territory.

Tuscany region

While the first case of hepatitis was reported back to December, the problem had intensified in the latter part of June.

According to local Italian media​​​,​ four of the cases occurred in Tuscany, resulting in a regional response from the authorities to establish where the contamination originated.

“Plastimea has decided, in agreement with the AFSCA, to withdraw this product from the sale and to remind Belgian consumers of the following product,” ​AFSCA’s spokesperson said.

“The company asks its customers not to consume this product and to kindly return it for a refund at the head office of the company.”

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