December 8, 2019

Fresh Thyme Blackberries Hepatitis A Outbreak Has Now Sickened 14

The Fresh Thyme Blackberries hepatitis A outbreak has now sickened at least 14 people in five states, according to the FDA. Minnesota has been added to the states where ill persons live. The other states with patients are Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. That’s an increase of three more patients in the last four days since the first investigation announcement.

Fresh Thyme Blackberries Hepatitis A Outbreak Has Now Sickened 14

Eight people have been hospitalized because they are so sick, which is a very high hospitalization rate for hepatitis A outbreaks. The last illness onset date was November 15, 2019. Since it can take two weeks after exposure for symptoms to appear, this outbreak is likely to grow.

Based on epidemiological information, patients said they ate fresh conventionally grown blackberries purchased from Fresh Thyme Market stores in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. However, these berries were shipped from a distribution center that supplies fresh berries to Fresh Thyme Market stores in six other states, including Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Consumers should not eat any fresh conventional blackberries if purchased between September 9, 2019 and September 30, 2019 from Fresh Thyme Market stores in those states listed above. If you bought those berries during that time frame and froze them for later use, discard those too.

Because the blackberries implicated in this outbreak are well past their shelf life date, it’s likely that people have frozen the berries and are now eating them. Please check your freezer carefully. If you have frozen blackberries and aren’t sure where they came from, discard them. ¬†Clean your freezer with a mild bleach solution after you discard the berries. And wash your hands well with soap and water after handling the berries and after cleaning.

If you ate these berries and have not been previously vaccinated with the hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination, talk to your doctor about getting a shot. The vaccinations are only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. If you are past that time frame, monitor yourself for the symptoms of hepatitis A for the next 15 to 50 days. It can take that long for symptoms to manifest.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

You can contact Minneapolis food safety attorney Fred Pritzker for help if you are part of this outbreak by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include nausea, fatigue, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, especially in the upper right quadrant, jaundice, pale clay colored stools, and dark urine. People usually recover completely from this infection, but some people may have prolonged or relapsing infections. Anyone with a liver disease is more likely to have serious complications from this infection.

The FDA notice states, “Due to the range in severity of illness, people should consult their health care provider if they suspect that they have developed symptoms that resemble a(n) hepatitis A infection.” You may be part of this Fresh Thyme blackberries hepatitis A outbreak.

By submitting a comment, you are contacting Pritzker Hageman, P.A. An attorney may contact you to ask if you would like a free consultation regarding your foodborne illness.

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