Townsend Farms, Inc. of Fairview, Oregon, announced a voluntary recall of certain lots of its frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend because it has the potential to be contaminated with Hepatitis A virus. The contamination was discovered through an ongoing epidemiological and traceback investigation by the FDA and the CDC of an illness outbreak.
The product was sold at Costco warehouse stores under the product name Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend, 3 lb. bag and 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 product name Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend, 10 oz. bag UPC 0 72036 70463 4. The "Lot" and "best by" codes are as follows: Lot Codes T041613E, T041613C and a "BEST BY" code of 101614.
One of the ingredients of the frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend, pomegranate seeds processed in Turkey, may be linked to an illness outbreak outside of the United States. Thirty-four cases of Hepatitis A are being investigated to date in the United States.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from exposure to the Hepatitis A virus, including from food. It can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious illness lasting several months. Illness generally occurs within 15 to 50 days of exposure and includes fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, abnormal liver tests, dark urine and pale stool. Hepatitis A vaccination can prevent illness if given within two weeks of exposure to a contaminated food. In rare cases, particularly consumers who have a pre-existing severe illness or are immune compromised, Hepatitis A infection can progress to liver failure.
Persons who may have consumed the affected product should consult with their health care professional or local health department to determine if a vaccination is appropriate, and consumers with symptoms of Hepatitis A should contact their health care professionals or the local health department immediately.
See the Recall
See also Medical Law Perspectives, July 2012 Report: Foodborne Illness: When Grabbing a Bite Can Be Deadly.