Last Monday Oregon-based Townsend Farms recalled its frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend, sold at Costco nationwide, after the Center for Disease Control linked the berries to several cross-state outbreaks of hepatitis A. The source of the virus is being linked to the pomegranate seeds, imported from Turkey.
According to The New York Times, 49 people in seven states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah — have contracted hepatitis A through the product, mostly likely through the imported pomegranate seeds.
Preliminary lab studies of two specimens suggest that the strain of the hepatitis virus involved in the outbreak is one found in the Middle East and North Africa but rarely in North or South America, according to the C.D.C. It has a genotype that was associated with an outbreak of hepatitis A in Europe this year, which also involved frozen berries, and to an outbreak in British Columbia last year involving pomegranate seeds from Egypt, the agency said.
that besides the pomegranate seeds from Turkey, the blend contained cherries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries from a variety of places, including Washington, Argentina and Chile.
If you have a bag of these berries, return them to the store a full refund. If you believe you've been infected, contact a doctor immediately.
(Image: Steve Suo/The Oregonian)