Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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2013 Multistate Outbreak of Hepatitis A Linked to Townsend Farms Frozen Berries

On May 31, 2013 the CDC announced that public health investigators had identified an outbreak of acute hepatitis A attributed to consumption of frozen mixed berries produced by Townsend Farms. As of September 20, 2013 162 patients had been identified. Illness onset dates ranged from March 31, 2013 to July 27, 2013. Outbreak associated cases lived in 10 states - Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wisconsin. Two Wisconsin cases consumed the product in California. The product was not distributed in Wisconsin. The reported case from New Hampshire consumed the product during travel in Nevada, and the case from New Jersey was a household contact of a confirmed case in Colorado. Sixty nine people had been hospitalized. Ill persons reported eating Townsend Farms Organic Anti Oxidant Blend, a frozen berry and pomegranate seed mix. All ill persons reported purchasing this product at Costco stores. However, the product was also sold at Harris Teeter store although no cases have been identified that bought the product at Harris Teeter. Townsend Farms issued a recall of the frozen berry product on June 4. 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 correct “Lot” and “best by” codes are as follows: Lot Codes T041613E, T0401613C and a “BEST BY” code of 101614. By combining information gained from the FDA's traceback and traceforward investigations and the CDC's epidemiological investigation, FDA and CDC have determined that the most likely vehicle for the hepatitis A virus was a common shipment of pomegranate seeds from a company in Turkey, Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading. These pomegranate seeds were used by Townsend Farms to make the Townsend Farms and Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Blends and by Scenic Fruit Company to make the Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels.

  • Outbreak began:
  • March 2013
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • California, Arizona, Utah, Hawaii, New Jersey
  • Organism(s):
  • Hepatitis
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Fruit, Berries, Pomegranate
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • Genotype 1B
  • Location(s):
  • Private Home, Restaurant
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • Yes
  • Total ill:
  • 162
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 162
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 0
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 71
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0

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