“Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend” frozen berry and pomegranate mix sold by Costco could be responsible for the multistate Hepatitis A outbreak in the USA that has so far infected 61 people.
That is the news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Tests have identified the strain as genotype 1B which is rare in America and usually found in North Africa and the Middle East. Although the same genotype was responsible for the similar outbreaks in Europe and Canada earlier this year caused by pomegranate seeds from Egypt, this outbreak is caused by a different strain.
Infection with the Hepatitis A virus causes liver disease which is contagious. It is usually spread by fecal matter from infected people, such as food handlers. Only a very small amount is needed to cause infection. A vaccine is available and can still help up to 2 weeks after being exposed.