ATLANTA — An outbreak of acute hepatitis A that has sickened 49 people in seven states has been linked to a frozen berry and pomegranate seed mix from Fairview, Ore.-based Townsend Farms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Nineteen of those affected said they purchased the product, Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend, at Costco; the retailer is alerting all customers who bought the frozen berry mix and has removed the product from stores.
The product was also sold at Harris Teeter from April 19-May 7 as Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend. Harris Teeter has issued a recall.
So far, illnesses have been reported in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Hawaii and California.
More news: 5 Illnesses Linked to Raw Milk in Pa.
The CDC said the particular strain of hepatitis A is common in North Africa and the Middle East but is rarely seen in the U.S. Townsend’s frozen berry mix contained produce that originated in the U.S., Argentina, Chile and Turkey.
The Food and Drug Administration has launched an investigation of Townsend’s processing facilities and is working on testing other samples for the presence of hepatitis A.
According to the Townsend website, the grower was an “early adopter” of the Produce Traceability Initiative and can trace all produce back to the farm on which it was grown.
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