The hepatitis A outbreak linked to a frozen berry mix sold at Costco has now sickened 120 people in 8 states, reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tuesday.
This count includes one more case than Monday’s count of 119. The new case was reported in Wisconsin, a state that had previously reported no victims in the outbreak; however health officials say the Wisconsin patient had eaten the frozen berry mix in California, a state that’s reporting 62 illnesses.
The Townsend Farms “Organic Anti-Oxidant Berry Blend” linked to the hepatitis A outbreak was distributed through Costco and Harris Teeter stores nationwide, but illnesses have only been linked to the products sold at Costco to date. The Costco product was sold at stores in 12 western states, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington, but no illnesses have been reported in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon or Washington.
For the states affected, case counts are as follows: Arizona (16), California (62), Colorado (24), Hawaii (5), New Mexico (5), Nevada (5), Utah (2) and Wisconsin (1).
Of the 120 victims, 54 (or 45 percent) have been hospitalized; 61 percent are between the ages of 40 and 64. Illness onset dates range from March 31 through June 16, 2013.
FDA is continuing its investigation at the processing facility at Townsend Farms, located in Fairview, OR, in an attempt to determine the source of the contamination.
The implicated berry mix included berries from the U.S., Argentina and Chile, as well as pomegranate seeds processed in Turkey.© Food Safety News