June 3, 2013 — An outbreak of Hepatitis A has been tentatively linked to bags of frozen mixed berries: Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend, sold by Costco grocery stores. Costco has issued a recall and will notify all customers who purchased the product. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have also issued a warning after 11 out of 17 people who were interviewed reported eating the frozen berry mix. A total of 30 infections were reported in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and California as of May 31.
The strain of Hepatitis A virus identified in the outbreak is genotype 1B, which is rare in North America but common in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2012 and 2013, outbreaks of this strain have been linked to pomegranate seeds imported from these areas. The pomegranate seeds in the Costco frozen berry mix originated from the U.S., Argentina, Chile, and Turkey.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease caused by the Hepatitis A virus. It is spread through fecal matter, usually when an infected person does not wash their hands while preparing food. The disease can spread through microscopic amounts of fecal matter.
The severity of the disease varies widely. In this outbreak, at least 9 people have required hospitalization. Mild forms of the disease last a couple weeks, while more serious cases can last months. Symptoms typically appear within 15 to 50 days after exposure.
Symptoms of Hepatitis A infection:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Dark-colored urine
- Pale-colored stool
Do I have a Food Poisoning Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Fruit Blend induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by Hepatitis A, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Food Poisoning Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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