Case Count Rises to 49 in Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Frozen BerriesProduct now known to have been sold at Harris Teeter
Food Safety News
BY GRETCHEN GOETZ | JUNE 4, 2013
The number of hepatitis A infections linked to a frozen berry mix sold nationwide has now climbed to 49, reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tuesday.
That announcement came on the heels of the first formal recall of the implicated product, which was issued by the maker of the berry mix, Oregon-based Townsend Farms, Monday — three days after the outbreak was announced by CDC. In its recall announcement, the fruit company revealed that the product had not only been sold at Costco, which removed the berries from store shelves Thursday, but also at Harris Teeter.
This means the product was not only sold in the western United States, where all of the illnesses reported to date have occurred, but also on the East Coast, where Harris Teeter stores are located.
States currently affected by the outbreak include Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Hawaii, and California. CDC has not released the number of illnesses by state.
Patients sickened in the outbreak are between the ages of 2 and 71 years old, a markedly different age range from the one reported in CDC’s last update Monday, in which no one under the age of 25 was known to have been affected.
According to CDC, 60 percent of the patients are female. Of the 25 people for whom information is available, 19 (76 percent) report eating Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend – the name under which the product was sold at Costco – in the week prior to illness.
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More on this outbreak: Townsend Farms organic frozen berries hepatitis A outbreak