Third Case of Hepatitis-A Connected to Berry Blend in Washoe County

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email

RENO, Nev. -- Washoe County health officials identified a third case of hepatitis linked to Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend, a frozen mixed berries product sold at Costco.

The hepatitis cases are part of an outbreak across several states in addition to Nevada, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Utah, and Wisconsin.

This new Washoe County case brings the total number of infections to 130 according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Local health officials want to remind people the frozen berry blend may still be in freezers and some people might not know about the recall.

The first cases in the outbreak happened in March of this year, and by early June the makers of the product, Townsend Farms, and Costco began recalling the berries.

In a press release, Washoe County Health District officials said, "By combining information gained from FDA and CDC investigations, both agencies have determined that the most likely vehicle for the hepatitis A virus appears to be a common shipment of pomegranate seeds from Turkey used by Townsend Farms to make the recalled Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend."

The pomegranate seeds were associated with two other products, Harris Teeter Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend and Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels, both of which have been pulled from store shelves. Neither of those products were sold in Nevada.

“We remind anyone who has purchased Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend to discard it immediately,” said Interim Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick. “In addition, if they have consumed Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend recently, or if they have consumed Harris Teeter Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend, or Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels while outside Washoe County recently, people should contact their primary health care provider or the Health District to determine whether a hepatitis A vaccination is indicated.”

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