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Hepatitis A Cases Hit 61 in Townsend Farms Berry Outbreak

At least 61 people have been found sickened with hepatitis A in the outbreak linked to Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Berry Mix sold at Costco stores, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those illness are spread across seven U.S. states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah.

Of the 30 cases with information available, 11 people have been hospitalized. Twenty (66 percent) of those cases are women, and ages range from 2 to 71 years old.

Townsend Farms issued a recall of the berry mix on June 4. Costco said it has notified customers who have purchased the product since February 2013, and removed all recalled bags from store shelves.

The recalled berries were also sold at Harris Teeter stores under the name “Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend” in 10 ounce bags. Those bags are marked with Lot Codes of T041613E and T041613C, with a “BEST BY” code of 101614.

At this time, no illnesses have been associated with the berries purchased at Harris Teeter stores.

Some Costco customers have begun reporting that Costco is offering free hepatitis A vaccines to customers who purchased the berries. Those who ate the berries within the last two weeks and have not yet developed symptoms of hepatitis A infection may still prevent illness by getting vaccinated.

Anyone who has had a hepatitis A vaccine in the past and ate the recalled berries should not fall ill.

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