Costco sold over 300,000 packages of Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend that have been linked to hepatitis A illnesses. Harris Teeter sold a relatively small quantity of the blend and has thus far not been linked. Townsend Farms pulled the suspect product this week, which included berries from Chile and Argentina, cherries from Washington State and the pomegranate seeds from Turkey.
CDC said the first of the 61 illnesses in 7 states, were first reported at the end of April 2013. The same genotype of hepatitis A was identified in an outbreak in Europe linked to frozen berries this year, the CDC said, as well as a 2012 outbreak in British Columbia related to a frozen berry blend with pomegranate seeds from Egypt.
Vaccination can prevent illness if given within two weeks of exposure, and those who have already been vaccinated are unlikely to become ill, according to CDC. However, The virus can incubate in the body for up to 50 days, though symptoms, including fatigue, nausea and vomiting, usually appear within a month.