Hepatitis A Outbreak Associated With Townsend Farms Organic Blend Frozen Berries

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Two cases of hepatitis A have been confirmed in San Bernardino County linked with the consumption of the Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend of frozen berries sold through Costco.  Consumers are being warned not to eat the frozen berries as they may be linked to the multistate outbreak of hepatitis A infections. The County Department of Public Health is collaborating with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and other public health officials to investigate the multistate outbreak of hepatitis A illness.

To date, at least 30 cases are being investigated nationwide. In California, six confirmed illnesses in persons who consumed this product have been reported.  Other counties that have reported cases are: Humboldt, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties. Three of these individuals have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

“People who have bought this product should discard it if still found in their home,” said Maxwell Ohikhuare, County Health Officer. “Anyone who has consumed this specific product in the last 14 days should contact their doctor to discuss possible hepatitis A prevention and treatment options.”

Costco has removed this product from stores and is notifying their member customers who have bought this product. County public health officials will continue to work CDPH, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration on this outbreak.

Symptoms of hepatitis A virus infection include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin or eyes). Symptoms develop two to six weeks after consuming contaminated food or drink and can last from one week to several months.

Most people recover completely, but sometimes hepatitis A can lead to hospitalization and severe illness. It is very important that if you have symptoms like this you do not go to work, especially if you work in food service, health care or child care. For more details see the CDPH fact sheet:

http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Documents/CDCHepAGeneralFactSheet.pdf

People who develop symptoms of hepatitis should consult their health care provider. For more information on hepatitis A, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/Outbreaks/2013/A1b-03-31/advice-consumers.html or contact the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health, Communicable Disease Section at 1-800-722-4794.

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