April 21, 2018

Townsend Farms Hepatitis A Outbreak Updated by CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated the Hepatitis A outbreak associated with Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate mix. The case count now stands at 61, with 11 people hospitalized. The product has been recalled. It was sold at Costco stores and at Harris Teeter stores under the Harris Teeter name.

Townsend-Farms-Organic-Antioxidant-Blend-ftThe patient age range is from 2 to 71 years. The illness onset dates range from 4/29/13 to 5/27/13. Twenty-two of the thirty persons interviewed so far ate the Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend before becoming ill. Twenty-two people purchased this product from Costco markets. No cases have been identified yet that bought the product at Harris Teeter stores.

Hepatitis A is divided into seven different genotypes; 80% of the viruses are genotype 1. The genotype in this outbreak is Hepatitis A genotype 1B, found in the Middle East and North Africa. This genotype was part of a 2013 outbreak in Europe linked to frozen berries and a 2012 outbreak in British Columbia related to a frozen berry blend that contained pomegranate seeds from Egypt. But the strain of 1B in the current outbreak doesn’t match either of the former outbreaks.

The CDC says that Hepatitis A is a human disease and “usually occurs when an infected food handler prepares food without appropriate hand hygiene. However, food contaminated with Hepatitis A virus (HAV), as is suspected in this outbreak, can cause outbreaks of disease among persons who eat or handle food.”

If you ate or touched this product in the last 14 days, contact your health care provider to inquire about a vaccination. If you ate or touched this product more than 14 days ago, a vaccination will not help. Monitor yourself for the symptoms of Hepatitis A: fever, nausea, diarrhea, light colored stool, dark colored urine, tiredness, loss of appetite, and abdominal cramps.

 

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