Food Safety News (08.16.2013)
Aids Weekly Plus
A contamination of Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen fruit, which prompted a recall in June, has now resulted in 159 cases of hepatitis A, according to CDC. The agency said the number of cases has also spread to a total of 10 states, although not all cases were a direct result from eating the product. There have been no deaths reported from the infections.
The product, produced and recalled by Townsend Farms of Fairview, Ore., was sold at Costco and Harris Teeter stores, and both stores sent out recall notifications in June. Testing concluded that pomegranate seeds imported from Turkey were the source of the hepatitis A outbreak. The FDA said it will detain shipments of pomegranate seeds from Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading when they try to import them into the United States.
CDC reported that hepatitis A had infected people ranging in age from 1 to 84 years, 69 of whom were hospitalized after eating the berry blend. The virus is transmitted when fecal matter contaminates food, water, or utensils. Food-related outbreaks usually occur when food is contaminated during cultivation, harvesting, processing or distribution. Symptoms are comparable to those of having the flu and usually last fewer than two months. Individuals become immune to hepatitis A after they recover from infection.
CDC listed the following 10 states as reporting cases: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wisconsin. The agency noted the case documented in New Jersey was a contact from a confirmed case in Colorado.