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Costco berries linked to Hepatitis A outbreak

A frozen berry mix sold by Costco appears to be responsible for an outbreak of a rare strain of Hepatitis A, including several cases in Arizona. Pomegranate seeds in The Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berry mix sold at Costco have been identified by health officials as the possible cause.

If you have consumed the berry mix and become ill or are concerned you may become ill, you should keep your proof of purchase and also keep the berry mix frozen in a sealed container, clearly marked “Not to be Eaten” or otherwise kept safe from consumption. These items may help prove the source of your infection if you become ill.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A typically appear from two to six weeks after exposure. The infection often causes mild flu-like symptoms and may require no treatment, but it sometimes can cause severe illness, hospitalization, permanent liver damage, and even death.

People who have eaten the berry mix (often used in smoothies) within the past two weeks are advised to consult their doctors to see if they should be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. Others should be alert for symptoms and contact their health care providers right away if they become ill.

More information is available here from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health: