OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 06/10/13 -- Why you should take note
About 1,200 Canadians, most of whom live in British Columbia and Alberta, bought a product from U.S. Costco stores in West coast states that may be associated with an outbreak of hepatitis A that has made about 80 people ill in several western and southwestern states. The product was not available for sale in Canada.
Hepatitis A is a liver disease that can cause illness ranging from mild and lasting a few weeks to severe and lasting several months.
The product, Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate mix, was not sold in Canada, but was sold in the U.S. at Costco stores and also at Harris Teeter stores under the name Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend (no illnesses have been linked to products bought at Harris Teeter stores). The manufacturer has recalled certain lots of this product.
If you bought the recalled product from a U.S. store and have eaten it, check with your health care professional to discuss hepatitis A and find out if the hepatitis A vaccination to prevent infection may be right for you.
Check your freezer and if you have recalled products in your home, return them to the store or throw them out. Do not eat them.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has been notified of a multistate outbreak in the U.S. of hepatitis A infections that may be associated with Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate mix and Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend. The Agency routinely monitors for hepatitis A infections in Canada and, at this time, has received no reports of hepatitis A in Canada that match the strain in the U.S. Based on an assessment of the current situation, the risk to Canadians in Canada is low at this time.
On June 4, 2013, Townsend Farms, Inc. of Fairview, Oregon, recalled certain lots of its frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend, based on an ongoing investigation into the illnesses.
Costco has reached out to consumers in Canada and the U.S. who bought the recalled product from their U.S. stores to tell them about the potential contamination.
The Agency continues to work with its health and food safety partners in the provinces and the U.S. and to monitor for illness that might be linked to this outbreak.
What you should do
If you think you have eaten some of the recalled product, consult your health care professional. Most people with hepatitis A recover on their own; however, rarely, some people can develop a more severe infection.
Not everyone infected with hepatitis A has symptoms, so it's important to check with your health care professional if you think you may have been exposed. Hepatitis A vaccine can be used to prevent hepatitis A infection if given within 14 days of the person being exposed to the virus. Your health care professional will assess whether you should receive the vaccine and to discuss symptoms of hepatitis A.
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