Costco Berries Cause Hepatitis

Frozen Berries Recalled for Hepatitis A

Oregon-based Townsend Farms, Inc. has announced a voluntary recall of a number of lots of its frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend, which were sold at Costco under the Townsend Farms brand, and at Harris Teeter under its own in-house brand. It is suspected that these Costco berries cause Hepatitis A.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has said they’ve found a suspected link between the berries in these packages and an outbreak of hepatitis A that has sickened at least 49 people to date. Eleven of those became sick enough to be hospitalized. The outbreak currently covers seven states; Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Hawaii, and California. There is fear that all of those numbers could increase before this is over.

The Townsend Farms Organic Anti-oxidant Blend frozen berry mix includes pomegranate seeds from Turkey, with other berries from the U.S., Argentina and Chile. Earlier this year, a hepatitis A outbreak in Europe with the same genotype was also linked to frozen berries, as was an outbreak in British Columbia last year.

Illness from hepatitis A can show up from 15 days to two months after exposure. The signs and symptoms of hepatitis A can include abdominal pain, cramps, nausea and vomiting, a loss of appetite, muscle pain, low fever, a darkening of the urine, and a yellowing of the skin and eyes, known as jaundice. Since the CDC reports that the first cases were reported in late April, and the recall was announced June 4, the problem may continue to grow.

Townsend Farms is specifically recalling the following:

  • From Costco: 3-pound bags of Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend, containing the UPC code 0 78414 404448, as well as BEST BY codes of T012415 through T053115, followed by a letter.
  • From Harris Teeter: 10-ounce bags of Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend containing UPC code 072036 70463 4, as well as lot codes T041613E and T0401613C, with a Best By code of 101614.

Costco has removed all bags of Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend from their shelves, as a precaution.

Anyone who thinks they have purchased and consumed one of these products should probably see a doctor, unless you know you have been vaccinated for the hepatitis A virus. Being vaccinated within two weeks of exposure should be effective.

The Texas Hepatitis Food Poisoning Lawyer at Hill Law Firm has lots of experience taking on the largest companies in the nation when we represent our clients in cases of food borne illnesses. If you or a loved one has been sickened by food contamination or poisoning, please call the Texas Food Poisoning Injury Lawyer at Hill Law Firm immediately

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