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Townsend Farms Berry Hepatitis A Outbreak Lawsuit

Townsend Farms Berry Hepatitis A Outbreak Lawsuit

Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend, a frozen mixed berry product, has been recalled after being linked to an outbreak of hepatitis A, a contagious viral liver disease. Officials are recommending that anyone who ate the berries should talk to their doctor about a vaccination, which could prevent the disease if given within two weeks after exposure. Lawyers have recently filed a class action lawsuit and personal injury claims on behalf of those who were injured or required vaccinations.

What You Can Do & How a Food Poisoning Lawsuit Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting hepatitis A induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was injured by hepatitis A or required a vaccine after eating frozen berries in Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend, 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 us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

UPDATE: 162 Sick in Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Imported Pomegranate Seeds

Click here for updates from the CDC.

September 25, 2013 — The CDC has reported that 162 people in 10 states have been infected with Hepatitis A after eating contaminated pomegranate seeds, including 71 who were hospitalized. At least two class action lawsuits have been filed against Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading in Turkey. Click here to read more.

June 7, 2013 — Results of an investigation conducted by the CDC have linked 79 illnesses in 8 states (Arizona, California Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington) to the recalled Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend. About 40% (40 out 0t 55) of people who were interviewed reported eating the product. 30 people have been hospitalized.

June 5, 2013 — The first two lawsuits have been filed, including a class action lawsuit on behalf of all people who required vaccinations after eating potentially contaminated frozen fruit mix. Click here to read more.

  • 49 illnesses reported and 11 people hospitalized with hepatitis A.
  • Seven states reporting illnesses: Hawaii, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada.
  • In San Diego, the first lawsuit has been filed by a woman who was diagnosed with hepatitis A and is still hospitalized.

RECALL: Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend

Townsend Farms and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an official voluntary recall of the Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend on June 4, 2013. These product may contain pomegranate seeds processed in Turkey that could have hepatitis A, though tests have not confirmed this link.

Recalled products include:

  • Costco: 3-pound bags with UPC 078414 40448.
  • Harris Teeter: 10-ounce bags with UPC 072036 70463 4.
  • Woodstock Organic Pomegranate Kernels

CDC Recommends Hepatitis A Vaccinations for People Who Ate Frozen Berry Mix

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that anyone who ate the recalled frozen berries and has not been vaccinated against hepatitis A should talk to their doctor about a hepatitis A vaccine or an injection of immune globulin (IG). If given within the first two weeks, these treatments can prevent hepatitis A infection.

According to the CDC advice to consumers:

“If you consumed this product in the last two weeks and have never been vaccinated, contact your health care provider to find out if you should be vaccinated. … If you have already received the hepatitis A vaccination in the past, you are unlikely to become ill with the disease.”

Pomegranate Seeds May Be Responsible for Hepatitis A Outbreak

Experts are pointing to pomegranate seeds as a possible source of the hepatitis A outbreak. Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend contained pomegranate seeds processed in Turkey, Argentina, Chile, and the United States. The strain of hepatitis has been identified as genotype B1, which is rare in North America and South America, but common in the Middle East and North Africa.

Genotype B1 on contaminated pomegranate seeds has caused two outbreaks of hepatitis A in recent months. One outbreak occurred in Europe earlier this year. Pomegranate seeds from Egypt were linked to an outbreak of hepatitis A in British Columbia in 2012.

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a contagious virus that is transmitted in the feces of an infected person. The disease is spread when an uninfected person ingests contaminated feces, even in microscopic amounts. Outbreaks are often caused when sick food handlers do not wash their hands properly before preparing foods. The virus causes severe inflammation of the liver.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A

The symptom of hepatitis A typically occur within 15 to 50 days. The onset is mild and may be confused with other diseases. Symptoms may persist for 2 weeks to 6 months (especially in adults), but 85% of people recover within 3 months. The disease is rarely fatal, except in the elderly and people with underlying liver disease.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include:

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Loss of appetite or weight-loss without trying (anorexia)
  • Fever (usually low-grade)
  • Feeling weak or tired (malaise)
  • Abdominal pain (especially in the liver area, on the right side below the ribs)
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • Dark urine
  • Pale or clay-colored stools
  • Itching
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Elevated liver enzyme levels in the blood (a symptom of liver damage)

Do I have a Food Poisoning Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting hepatitis A induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was injured by hepatitis A or required a vaccine after eating frozen berries in Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend, 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 us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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