September 15, 2019

Townsend Farms Hepatitis A Outbreak: 158 Sick, 69 Hospitalized

The Hepatitis A outbreak associated with Townsend Farms mixed berries sold at Costco stores has sickened 158 people and hospitalized 69 as of August 1, 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At least six of the current cases are secondary infections, meaning they were exposed to the virus by a member of their household.

Berry-Blend-Hepatitis-LawsuThe illnesses have been reported in 10 sates. By state, the case count is as follows: Arizona (23), California (77), Colorado (28), Hawaii (8), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (9), Nevada (6), Utah (3), and Wisconsin (2). [Note: The Wisconsin cases resulted from exposure to the product in California, the New Hampshire cases were exposed during travel to Nevada, and the case reported in New Jersey was a household contact of a confirmed case from Colorado.]

With the exception of the the six secondary cases, all of these people ate  ‘Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend’ that they purchased at Costco before they became ill. The product was also sold at Harris Teeter stores, but no illnesses have been identified with Harris Teeter at this time. The illness onset dates range from March 31, 2013 to July 14, 2013.

A recall for the contaminated product was issued on June 4 and an expanded recall was issued June 28. The incubation period for Hepatitis A is between 15 and 50 days after exposure. So even if no one ate the berries after the last recall there could still be new cases until the end of August.

Sometimes people who have Hepatitis don’t have symptoms which include nausea, anorexia, fever, malaise, or abdominal pain, yellow skin, yellow eyes and clay-colored stools. See a doctor if you have these symptoms.

 

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