Fruity fiasco

We hear about food borne illnesses relatively frequently, but hepatitis A outbreaks tend to be quite rare. Unfortunately, some 87 people have gotten sick with hepatitis A after consuming tainted frozen fruit purchased at Costco.

The tainted fruit, attributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to pomegranate seeds imported from Turkey, was in Costco’s frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend, which had strawberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, and pomegranate seeds. The mix was processed by Townsend Farms of Fairview, Oregon. The company has recalled the product, and Costco is offering free hepatitis A vaccines to those who may be at risk. The thing is, you need to get the shot within 14 days of exposure. Hepatitis A attacks the liver and has a lengthy incubation period, up to nearly two months. Its symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, fever, jaundice, and fatigue.

Nobody in Oregon has gotten sick. The ill are spread across eight states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington. There have been no fatalities, but more than half of the sick have had to be hospitalized.

For more on this story, see this article.