Frozen berries sold at Costco in Wash. tied to hepatitis outbreak

Jun 3, 2013

An outbreak of hepatitis A, which has sickened more than 30 people in five states, has been linked to frozen berries sold at Costco stores.  

Anyone who purchased frozen berries under the brand “Townsend Farms Organic Anti-oxidant Blend” from Costco should discard them, according to the state Department of Health. The blend includes cherries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, raspberries, and strawberries.  

No one in Washington has yet been diagnosed with hepatitis from the berries, but they have been sold in the state.  A vaccine against hepatitis A has been available since 2006, and most young children are protected against infection. But many adults and older kids have never had the vaccine. 

Costco has removed the berries from its shelves and says it’s contacting members who purchased the berries since February.  

Health officials say it’s rare for hepatitis to spread through packaged foods.

For the latest on the outbreak, see the federal Centers for Disease Control statement.