October 16, 2018

Costco’s Townsend Farms Frozen Berries Hepatitis A: What You Can Do

The FDA has advice on what consumers can do about the hepatitis A outbreak associated with Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend frozen berries sold at Costco stores. At least 30 people have been sickened in five states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico. This outbreak may spread; the number cited is only the first in this investigation.

Through interviews with ill patients, the CDC found that 11 of the 17 people interviewed so far ate the product, which has not been recalled. Costco has issued a “safety notice” about the problem with this product. The FDA has started an inspection of the Townsend Farms Oregon processing facilities. And public health officials are developing a protocol to test berries for the hepatitis A virus.

 

Hepatitis AThe CDC says if you have ANY bags of this product in your refrigerator, discard them. Do not eat this product. Even if some of the product has been consumed without anyone developing symptoms of hepatitis A, don’t eat it. A hepatitis A vaccine can prevent the disease if it is given within two weeks of exposure to the contaminated product. If you ate Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend frozen berries in the past two weeks, contact your health care provider to discuss vaccination. If you have had the hepatitis A vaccine in the past, you are unlikely to get sick.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease caused by a virus. Patients can be only mildly sick, with an illness that lasts for a few weeks, to a serious illness that lasts months. The symptoms of a hepatitis A infection include abdominal pain, fatigue, jaundice, abnormal liver tests, dark urine, and pale stools. In rare cases, especially in those with pre-existing conditions or a compromised immune system, a hepatitis A infection can cause liver failure and be fatal.

Comments

  1. Jessica Harper says:

    I bought the organic blueberry blend only from costco recently. Is there any reason to believe that the same blueberries are in this as in the blend and should I be concerned?

    • Linda Larsen says:

      No other Townsend Farms products are considered part of the recall at this time according to the FDA

  2. Ric Sorne says:

    If I ate the berries over 2 weeks ago should I still get vaccinated?

  3. Ric Sorne says:

    If I’ve eaten the berries, but don’t have symptoms do I have to stay away from people?

  4. Allison says:

    I did not consume these raw, but used them in baking and cooked them. Is there still a risk?

  5. The organic antioxidant mix I have in my freezer from Costco is from Sunrise Growers. Is this brand ok?

  6. Can these be returned to Costco for a refund?

  7. What if I ate them over 3 weeks ago? Should I go get a blood test? Or do the symptoms always show within the first 2 weeks?

  8. Dr. Umit Tarakci says:

    Moldy, mildewy taste was in the strawberries in Organic berry mixture (rasyberry,blackberry,strawbery), purchase after purchase. At the same time the obscure small print on the package (saying the bag contained imported items) was removed. In the long harangue about their idyllic Oregon location, a short sentence was added that the company cooperates with growers overseas sharing their values. With rotten content and such tricky marketing, no matter where items come from, products from such a company are suspect.

  9. Suzanne Rita says:

    I purchase frozen berried from Costco frequently as and in fact had just finished a bag the day before this announcement. My question is, does Costco sell more than one type of berry mix from Townsend? I am MIT sure if the bag we purchased WS the antioxidant blend. It did have pomegranate in it along with blueberries and strawberries. Thank you
    Suzanne Rita

  10. Is there risk of infection from handling product if it wasn’t consumed (ie., preparing food with it or cleaning dishes used in preparing it)?

  11. I too have purchased a bag in the last few weeks and made a few smoothies with the berries a few days ago. My biggest concern in my young son, who also consumed some of the berries. How can I make sure we have not been exposed?

  12. Brian Haberman says:

    Could you show a pic of the product packaging as I have purchased Townsend Farms Triple Berry Blend and not sure if I want to consume them now, it says high in Antioxidants, I got them from Sams Club.

  13. I got this product in my freezer and have been using it in my power shakes for over about 3 weeks. Is there a product date that we should look for? Or is the recall for all of it. I worry mainly because my daughter tends to sip from my shake while I drive her to school.

  14. Jeannine Howard says:

    I had a package of these berries in my cart as did another shopper but put them back at the last minute because we thought most of the mix would be strawberries. Costco–bring back the triple berries mix with no strawberries please. The relatively new organic “farmers” need to learn about fresh manure on food.

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