Costco Frozen Berry Mix Recall Issued Following Hepatitis A Outbreak

Costco frozen berry mix recall issued at Costco and Harris Teeter supermarkets has been linked to a Hepatitis A outbreak and may have sickened at least 30 people in five states. The producer of the frozen organic berry mix has issued a voluntary recall of that encompasses all bags sold since February.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently investigating a hepatitis A outbreak that is believed to be linked to Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend Costco frozen berry mix recall that contains pomegranate seeds from Turkey. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that 30 illnesses have been reported in California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona, with hepatitis A illnesses first reported in April.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A

The hepatitis A virus is generally spread through poor hygiene practices and causes a contagious liver disease that usually presents within two to six weeks following exposure with symptoms that include:

  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • Urine that is dark yellow to brown
  • Light colored stool or diarrhea
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite
  • Fever and chills
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach pain

People who believe they consumed the Costco frozen berry mix recall should seek medical attention, as a vaccine can be given to prevent the illness, however it must be given in the first two week after exposure to be the most effective. A hepatitis A infection can cause mild symptoms or symptoms severe enough to necessitate hospitalization. (http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Bay-Area-hepatitis-A-case-linked-to-Costco-berry-4570386.php)

Costco Frozen Berry Mix Recall

According to Townsend Farms, the hepatitis A tainted berry mix being recalled includes the following:

  • Costco: “Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend, 3 lb. bag and UPC 0 78414 404448. The recalled codes are located on the back of the package with the words ‘BEST BY’; followed by the code T012415 sequentially through T053115, followed by a letter.”
  • Harris Teeter: “Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend, 10 oz. bag and UPC 0 72036 70463 4, with ‘BEST BY’ codes of T041615E or T041615C,” sold from April 19 to May 7, 2013.
  • Though the Hepatitis A virus has not been found in the pomegranate seeds contained in the berry mix, by Friday of last week, 11 people diagnosed with the infection had eaten the recalled Frozen Berry mix. The CDC reports that this particular strain of hepatitis A is commonly seen in the Middle East and northern Africa, though not generally in the United States. (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/06/costco-berries-producer-linked-to-hepatitis-a-expands-recall/)

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