July 22, 2024

Townsend Farms Hepatitis A Outbreak Reaches 150 Cases

The hepatitis A outbreak associated with Townsend Farms berries sold at Costco stores has reached 150 cases. Consumers should check their freezers to make sure they do not have Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berries.

townsend-hepatitisFifty six precent of those sickened, who range in age from 1 to 84 years old, are women. Ten of the case patients are children under 18 who had not been vaccinated.

By state, the case count is as follows: Arizona (22), California (74), Colorado (27), Hawaii (8), New Mexico (8), Nevada (6), Utah (3), and Wisconsin (2). [Note: The Wisconsin cases resulted from exposure to the product in California.]

Hepatits A is a contagious liver disease. Those infected do not always show symptoms which can take between two and six weeks to develop and include yellow skin or eyes, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements and joint pain. The most recent case became symptomatic on July 6, 2013.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have determined that “the most likely vehicle for the hepatitis A virus appears to be a common shipment of pomegranate seeds from a company in Turkey, Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading.”  That FDA has issued  two import alerts for the company, one for produce that contains pathogens and another for produce packed in insanitary conditions. The FDA has detained all  shipments of pomegranate seeds from Goknur since June 29.  The agency has also been working to notify all companies that may have received shipments of pomegranate seeds from this company.




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