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Food Safety News

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79 Now Ill In Frozen Berry Hepatitis A Outbreak

WA now reporting cases

The hepatitis A outbreak linked to a frozen berry mix sold at Costco and Harris Teeter stores has now sickened 79 people, 30 of whom were hospitalized, federal health officials reported Friday.

Cases have been reported in eight western states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Washington, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The illnesses have been linked to an organic mix of frozen berries and pomegranate seeds distributed by Oregon’s Townsend Farms. The berry blend was sold at Costco under the Townsend Farms brand and at Harris Teeter under the Harris Teeter brand.

To date, no cases have been reported on the East Coast, where Harris Teeter stores are located. CDC confirms that no cases have been linked to berries bought at Harris Teeter.

Of the 55 patients interviewed, 40 (or 73 percent) report eating Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend prior to falling ill. A majority (65 percent) of these 55 victims are women.

Illness onset dates range from March 16 of this year through June 1, when the latest illness is known to have started. However, due to the lag time between when a person falls ill and their illness is reported, recent cases may not yet  have been counted.

Detailed information about the recalled product is available on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website.

Consumers who purchased the affected berry mix should discard it or return it for a full refund.

Those who ate the berries within the last 14 days and have not already received the hepatitis A vaccine are encouraged to do so. The vaccine is available from healthcare provider. If you do not have a healthcare provider, contact your local health department.

Those experiencing symptoms of hepatitis A infection, including nausea, pain in the upper right abdomen, fatigue, loss of appetite, diarrhea and jaundice, should contact their healthcare provider or their local health department. 

 

© Food Safety News
  • guest

    you should reconsider all of the lovely berry photos that are used with this ongoing story. Red raspberries were not even in the mix that is being recalled. I am concerned consumers will associate all fresh and frozen berries with this problem from the reinforced visual imagery.

    • hawks5999

      In point of fact, red raspberries are in the mix. I’m looking at the bag now.

    • gberry

      He he, the only picture in article is of a raspberry….and wasn’t it the pomegranate seed in the mix from Turkey that was implicated anyway?

  • anon

    The Harris Teeter mix does contain red raspberries.

  • anon

    The Harris Teeter blend does contain red raspberries.

  • guest

    oh and I thought there were black berries and cranberries in the mix based on so many of the previous photos of frozen mixes