Marylanders Should Not to Consume Certain Frozen Berry and Pomegranate Mix Products

 Baltimore (June 6, 2013) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) advises residents not to consume or purchase certain lots of Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend sold at Costco and Harris Teeter grocery stores that have been linked to an outbreak of hepatitis A. The blend contains a mix of berries, cherries, and pomegranate. While initial reports suggested that the implicated lots of this product were distributed only on the west coast, it now appears that product was distributed more broadly, including to Maryland.

Townsend Farms, Inc. issued a recall of certain lots of the frozen berry blend products on June 4. The product was sold at Costco warehouse stores under the product name Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend, in 3 lb. bags with the UPC 0 78414 404448. The recalled codes are located on the back of the package with the words “BEST BY” followed by the code T012415 sequentially through T053115, followed by a letter. All of these letter designations are included in this recall for the lot codes listed above.

The product was also sold at Harris Teeter stores from April 19 until May 7, 2013, under the name Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend, in 10 oz. bags with the UPC 0 72036 70463 4, with Lot Codes of T041613E or T041613C and a “BEST BY” code of 101614.

At this time, no other Townsend Farms products have been implicated, however the investigation is ongoing. To read the FDA press release, visit: (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm355166.htm)

Currently, no cases related to this outbreak have been identified in Maryland.

Symptoms of acute hepatitis A infection include: yellow skin or eyes (jaundice), abdominal pain, pale stools, diarrhea, dark urine, and fever. Symptoms usually appear within 28 days after infection. About half of the adults who catch hepatitis A get sick, and usually feel ill for about 2 weeks (sometimes longer). Only a few children get sick when they catch hepatitis A, but all people who catch the virus can spread it to others. Those who have recently been exposed to hepatitis A virus may be able to receive a medication or vaccination to prevent illness. Anyone with these symptoms should consult their healthcare provider.

There are an average of about 50 cases of acute symptomatic hepatitis A infections per year in Maryland residents. More information about hepatitis A can be found at the DHMH website http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/IDEHASharedDocuments/hepa.pdf .

 

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