October 2, 2023

FDA Weighs In On Fresh Market Blackberries Hepatitis A Outbreak

The FDA has published its final report on its investigation into the Fresh Market Blackberries hepatitis A outbreak. The illnesses are linked to fresh, conventionally grown (non organic) blackberries purchased from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market and Woodman’s Market grocery stores. As of February 19, 2020, 20 people in 7 states were sickened.

FDA Weighs In On Fresh Market Blackberries Hepatitis A Outbreak

Since the last update on December 12, 2019, two more illnesses have been reported. One of those patients lives in Pennsylvania, a state that had not include in the case count. The case count by state is: Indiana (3), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (7), Pennsylvania (1), and Wisconsin (6). The last illness onset date was November 15, 2019.

Eleven people were hospitalized because they were so ill. While most people have a relatively mild illness when they contract this infection, some, especially those with liver disease, weakened immune systems, or a chronic health problem, can become very ill. This hospitalization rate is high for a hepatitis A outbreak.

Patients said they purchased fresh, conventional blackberries in six states: Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores, or in Wisconsin at Woodman’s Market stores. The berries were sold in these states: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores, and in Wisconsin and Illinois at Woodman’s Markets, from September 9, 2019 to September 30, 2019. No single common source of the contaminated blackberries was identified.

Lawyer Fred Pritzker

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with hepatitis A food poisoning, you can contact noted food safety lawyer Fred Pritzker for help by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

Officials are still concerned that some people may have bought these blackberries and have frozen them for later use. If you did buy and freeze blackberries during the month of September 2019, and aren’t sure where you bought them, consider throwing them away.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, especially in the upper right quadrant, jaundice (yellow eyes and skin), dark urine, diarrhea, and clay-colored stools. Some people, especially children, may contract this illness and not show any symptoms at all. Most people recover within one to two months, but this illness can relapse.

If you have eaten fresh blackberries and have been ill with those symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of this Fresh Market blackberries hepatitis A outbreak.


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