Food Safety News: Is a Frozen Pomegranate-Berry Blend the Cause of a Hepatitis A Outbreak?

Health officials are investigating the cause of a hepatitis A outbreak that has sickened 30 people

A frozen, organic pomegranate/berry blend sold at Costco -- Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend -- has been linked to a hepatitis A outbreak that has sickened at least 30 people in five states, according to the FDA and the CDC. Cases have been reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.

The frozen berry blend has not been officially recalled. However it has been pulled from the shelves at Costco, and the retailer is contacting consumers who have purchased the blend within the past few months. The CDC recommends that any unconsumed product be discarded, and people who have eaten the berry blend within the past two weeks should discuss vaccination with their healthcare provider.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection that, according to the CDC, "usually occurs when an infected food handler prepares food without appropriate hand hygiene. However, food contaminated with HAV, as is suspected in this outbreak, can cause outbreaks of disease among persons who eat or handle food."

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