LTN Staff Report
A contaminated food product that was sold at Harris Teeter stores in North Carolina is prompting a recall after being linked to an outbreak of hepatitis A (HAV).
While there are no reported cases in the state, public health officials are warning of the link between a frozen-berry and pomegranate-seed mix, called Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend, sold at the grocery chain in North Carolina and five other states (Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida) as Harris Teeter Organics Antioxidant Berry Blend.
Most cases in the multistate outbreak report consumption of the berry blend purchased from Costco markets, though none of those retailers in North Carolina have received this product.
“According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 49 cases of Hepatitis A have been linked with consumption of the product in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Hawaii and California,” officials with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release.
The manufacturer has issued a voluntary recall for the product. Harris Teeter has also removed the product from its frozen cases. For specific information on UPC number and product codes, visit http://www.harristeeter.com/other/consumer_information/recalls.aspx?id=52.
The DHHS urges consumers to discard this product if it is still in their freezer, and not to eat it. Anyone who has been exposed to the product in the last two weeks should contact a health care provider for evaluation and consideration for vaccination. Those who have eaten the contaminated product may not begin to feel ill until approximately 28 days later. Symptoms of hepatitis A include nausea, vomiting, jaundice (yellow eyes or skin), abdominal pain, pale stools or dark urine.
For more information on this outbreak, visit http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/Outbreaks/2013/A1b-03-31/index.html.