July 25, 2024

CDC’s Final Report on Hepatitis Outbreak Townsend Farms Mixed Berries

Hepatitis A in bags of Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen mixed berries sold at Costco stores sickened 162 people in 10 states between May and September, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) final report. The source of contamination was identified as pomegranate seeds imported from Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading in Turkey.

Hep-A-CostcoHepatitis A is a highly contagious virus. Sometimes those who are infected show no symptoms. For those who do become sick, symptoms usually develop two weeks after exposure and can last for months. They include mild fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, dark urine, clay colored stools and jaundice. People can be contagious up to 2 weeks before they even know they are sick, which is one of the reasons why the illness is spread so quickly and easily.

Onset of illnesses ranged from March 1 to July 26. About 44 percent of the case patients, who ranged in age from 1 – 84 years old, were hospitalized. Fifty five percent of  those sickened were women.  The case count included 11 children who had not been vaccinated.

By state the case count was as follows: Arizona (23), California (79), Colorado (28), Hawaii (8), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (11), Nevada (6), Utah (3), and Wisconsin (2). [Note: The Wisconsin cases resulted from exposure to the product in California, the New Hampshire cases result from exposure in Nevada, and the New Jersey case was a household contact of a confirmed case from Colorado.]  Overall, 6 of the confirmed cases were secondary exposures from household contacts.

Although the product was also sold at Harris Teeter stores, no one who became ill bought the product at Harris Teeter. If you did buy this product, throw it away in a sealed or double bagged package, or take it back to the store where you bought it for a full refund. Wash your hands well with soap and water after handling this product.

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