Frozen Berry Recall: Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked To Frozen Berry Mix Infects 87 People
June 12, 2013 4:16 AM EST
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that an outbreak of hepatitis A linked to a frozen berry mix sold at Costco has infected to 87 people across eight states including California Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Washington.
The outbreak made headlines last week when Townsend Farms of Fairview, Ore., recalled its frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend, packaged under the Townsend Farms label at Costco and under the Harris Teeter brand at those stores.
Craig Wilson, director of food safety at Costco, told reporters that the store is providing vaccinations for people who ate the berries within the last two weeks and is reimbursing others who have gotten the vaccine outside the store. The store has contacted about 240,000 people who purchased the berries at one of their stores, Wilson said. The company knows who bought the berries because purchases are linked to a membership card that customers present when they check out.
While the FDA is investigating the cause of the outbreak, the CDC did say that this strain of hepatitis is rarely seen in North or South America but is found in the North Africa and Middle East regions. Townsend Farms has said the frozen organic blend bag includes pomegranate seeds from Turkey.
Hepatitis A is an acute infectious disease of the liver caused by an RNA virus transmitted person-to-person by ingestion of contaminated food or water or through direct contact with an infectious person. Symptoms include fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, abnormal liver tests, dark urine and pale stool.
Illness usually occurs within 15 to 50 days of exposure to the hepatitis A virus, but vaccination can prevent illness if given within two weeks of contact.
Lawsuits have already been filed against Townsend Farms in California, Hawaii and Washington state, with more expected in the other affected states, the AP reports.
The same genotype of hepatitis A was identified in an outbreak in Europe linked to frozen berries this year, the CDC said, as well as a 2012 outbreak in British Columbia related to a frozen berry blend with pomegranate seeds from Egypt. The agency said there is no evidence the outbreaks are related.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Flight MH17 Attack: Russians Claim 'Putin A Terrorist,' Memorial at Dutch Embassy Overflows [PHOTOS]
- Typhoon Rammasun Claims 18 Lives in China, Incurs $4.32B Losses (PHOTOS)
- Ellen DeGeneres Caught Cheating with Mutual Friend Before Portia de Rossi’s Rehab – Reports [PHOTOS]
- Malaysia Airlines MH17: Vital Black Boxes Finally Land in Hands of Malaysian Authorities, Rebels Announce Ceasefire (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)
Join the Conversation
- California Fruits Recalled in USA and Canada for Possible Listeria Contamination
- Malaysian Airlines Flight 17: Air Carrier Losing $1.6 Million/Day; Crisis Management Experts Suggest Hiring Risk Expert as CEO
- The IBM and Apple Merger: Will it Spell Trouble to Rival Companies
- CBA, NAB, Westpac in Fixed Rate War Offering Below 5% Interest
- Radio Australia Cuts to Affect Isolated Vanuatu Residents Who Rely on It for Weather Bulletins
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Apps Leak Online, Five Fresh Features to Expect from the Android Smartphone
- Moto 360 Price Speculations, Key Features, Strategic Release Date, Design: A Watch That is More Than Just Time
- Windows Phone 8.1 Update Rollout: 20 Nokia Lumia Phones Eligible and 13 New Features to be Added
- Three New Moto G Successors Spotted in FCC Document Dubbed Moto G2, Moto M and More --Reports
- iPad Air 2 Release Date Will Skip IGZO Panel; To Rollout with Super-Slim iPad Mini Air
- Upcoming iPad Mini 3 Could be 30% Thinner and Likely be Called iPad Mini Air; Apple Q3 Results Show 9% Decrease in iPad Sales
- Sony Xperia M2 vs. Moto G – Specifications, Features and Price Showdown