In an update to the media on Friday, FDA stated, “FDA and CDC have determined that the most likely vehicle for the Hepatitis A virus appears to be a common shipment of pomegranate seeds from Turkey used by Scenic Fruit Company to make the recalled Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels and by Townsend Farms to make the recalled Townsend Farms and Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Blend.”
Earlier, Townsend Farms Inc recalled their Organic Anti-oxidant Blend of berries from Costco stores, and later this week, Scenic Fruit Company recalled some lots of Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels. Both companies making the recalls are based in Oregon.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Hepatitis A outbreak exhibited a strain of virus which is rare in America, but common in North Africa and the Middle East.
The FDA statement mentioned the agency “reviewed records and determined the pomegranate seeds from this shipment were the only ingredient common to all of the recalled Townsend Farms and Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Blend … FDA will be working with the firms who have distributed pomegranate seeds from this shipment from Turkey to help ensure that all recipients of these seeds are notified.”
According to the CDC all victims until now had eaten Townsend Farms Organic Anti-oxidant Blend bought from Costco stores. So far, no illnesses have been linked to Harris Teeter.
The case count up to Friday included 64 in California, 25 in Colorado, 17 in Arizona, 7 in Hawaii, 5 each in New Mexico and Nevada, and 2 each in Utah and Wisconsin. Affected victims range in age from 2 to 84 years and there are at least 6 children below the age of 18. More than half of those affected by the outbreak needed hospitalization.