Hepatitis A Outbreak Possibly Linked to Fruit Smoothie Mix

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued a warning that a frozen mixed berry blend product may be responsible for an outbreak of Hepatitis A that spans six western states and has sickened at least 30 people.

Florida Hepatitis A OutbreakSo far, the food recall attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville Florida have not heard of any reported cases in Florida possibly linked to the frozen berry smoothie mix. The berry mix, sold under the name Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend, was sold at Costco and Harris Teeter stores. Townsend Farms of Fairview, Ore., has recalled the frozen fruit blend – although it did so three days after the FDA and CDC announced that it suspected the product was linked to the Hepatitis A outbreak.

The Hepatitis A strain involved in this outbreak is rarely seen in North or South America, but is more prevalent in North Africa and the Middle East. An attorney for Townsend Farms admitted that the fruit blend contained pomegranate seeds from Turkey.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by a viral infection. Of the 30 people who reportedly have been sickened with the Hepatitis A strain, 9 have required hospitalization. Symptoms include abdominal pain, jaundice, fatigue, dark urine and pale stool.

Those who have been vaccinated against the disease are unlikely to contract it. However, there is still a window to get vaccinated for those who may have been exposed. The CDC states that getting the vaccine within two weeks of exposure may still stave off the disease.

With the globalization of food products becoming more and more prevalent, it is essential that food manufacturers, distributors and regulators in the United States become even more vigilant against the possibility of food contamination. If a recalled food product has sickened you or a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation for hospitalization, medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.

If you believe you have a case, we’d like to hear from you. Call us at us at (800) 533-3555 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.