January 17, 2018

Townsend Farms Pomegranate Seed Hepatitis A Outbreak Now at 136

The hepatitis A outbreak linked to Townsend Farms-Costco pomegranate seeds has now sickened 136 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of July 2, 2013, people are sick in 8 states, and 59 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Hepatitis-A-7313

The case count by state is: Arizona (20), California (67), Colorado (25), Hawaii (7), New Mexico (6), Nevada (6), Utah (3), and Wisconsin (2). Eight children are part of this outbreak; none of them were previously vaccinated against the hepatitis A virus. Most people (58%) in this outbreak are between the ages of 40 and 64 years. All ill persons who reported eating the recalled Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate mix linked to the outbreak purchased it at Costco stores. Harris Teeter also sold the seeds, and Scenic Fruit Company recalled their Woodstock Organic Pomegranate Kernels last week.

As a result of this outbreak, the FDA is detaining shipments of pomegranate seeds from Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading in Turkey. The seeds are the most likely vehicle for the virus. The FDA is also working with firms that have distributed pomegranate seeds from the suspect shipment to ensure that all recipients of the seeds are notified. If you have purchased the recalled products, do not eat them. If you touched or ate the seeds, contact your healthcare provider for advice on whether you should receive a vaccination or monitor yourself for the symptoms of hepatitis A.

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