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Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked To Townsend Farms Frozen Berries From Costco

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(credit: townsendfarms.com)

(credit: townsendfarms.com)

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DENVER (CBS4)- Some 30 cases of hepatitis A have been reported in Colorado and four other states that have been linked to frozen mixed berries purchased from Costco.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is investigating along with the Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration in an outbreak of hepatitis A cases believed to be associated with Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend of frozen berries.

The first people became ill on April 29 and the most recent on May 21. Five of these cases are Colorado residents. The number of cases in Colorado and in this outbreak may change, because on average it takes 30 days to become ill with hepatitis A after eating contaminated food.

Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berries purchased from Costco appear to be the source of this outbreak. This blend includes cherries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, raspberries and strawberries. Costco has removed this product from its shelves, although a formal recall has not been issued.

FDA is further investigating this product, including testing berries for the hepatitis A virus. The investigation may take several weeks to complete.

The Colorado cases reside in the Adams, Boulder, Clear Creek, Eagle and Jefferson counties. Three women and two men have become ill. They range in age from 35 to 71 years.

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