May 27, 2024

Now 34 Sick in Costco Townsend Farms Hepatitis A Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their investigation into the Hepatitis A outbreak associated with Townsend Farms Organic Anti-oxidant Blend frozen berry mix sold at Costco stores. Now at least 34 people in five (perhaps six) states have been sickened in this outbreak.

The states where the ill people live are Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and California. We have information that Hawaii is included in the outbreak states with three ill; we’re waiting for an answer from the CDC about their omission. Twenty-five people have been interviewed in this outbreak. Fifteen, or 60%, are women. The age range is 24 to 71 years. Illness onset dates range from 4/29/13 to 5/21/13. Eleven, or 44% of the patients, have been hospitalized in this outbreak. Nineteen people, or 76%, have reported eating the Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate seed mix before becoming ill.

Townsend Farms Costco Hepatitis A

The genotype of Hepatitis A in this particular outbreak is rarely seen in the Americas. It circulates in North Africa and Middle Eastern regions of the globe. But, this particular genotype was identified in a 2013 outbreak in Europe linked to frozen berries, and a 2012 outbreak in British Columbia related to a frozen berry blend with pomegranate seeds from Egypt. The Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend frozen berry mix contains cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and pomegranate seeds from the U.S. and imported from Argentina, Chile, and Turkey.

If you have eaten this product, please contact your health care provider to see if you need a vaccination against Hepatitis A. The vaccination will only work if you ate the berries within the last two weeks. Otherwise, you need to monitor yourself for the symptoms of Hepatitis A, which include fever, nausea, diarrhea, light colored stool, dark urine, tiredness, loss of appetite, and abdominal cramps. If you didn’t eat the product, but handled it without washing your hands afterwards, you may have been exposed to Hepatitis A.

If you purchased this product, the FDA says you should discard it. But you can save it in case you do develop symptoms of Hepatitis A. Double bag the product and seal it well and put it back into the freezer; wash your hands thoroughly after handling it.

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