The Virginia Department of Health, along with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, issued a warning to all consumers to avoid eating the product.
Hepatitis A is a disease that usually occurs and spreads as a result of an infected food handler preparing food products without adequate hand hygiene. Following the implementation of an expanded program of hepatitis A vaccination of children, the overall hepatitis A rate in the U.S. has declined by 76 percent..
However, the disease can still pose a serious threat to those who haven't been vaccinated.
The berry mix has already been removed from store shelves but people who have previously bought the product could be at risk.
Health officials have said that anyone who has eaten the product in the last two weeks and hasn't been vaccinated against hepatitis A, should immediately contact their doctor to seek possible treatment.
Harris Teeter posted the following message on their website regarding the recall of the product:
"Townsend Farms Inc. issued a voluntary recall of a frozen organic berry blend containing organic pomegranate arils. Townsend Farms Inc. issued this voluntary recall because the Food and Drug Administration is investigating an outbreak of Hepatitis A linked to the frozen organic berry blend sold by that company.
Townsend Farms Inc. is the supplier of Harris Teeter Organics Antioxidant Berry Blend; out of an abundance of caution, Harris Teeter removed its Harris Teeter Organics Antioxidant Berry Blend from its frozen cases. The Company asks that customers do not eat the product but rather discard it or return it to Harris Teeter for a full refund.
Townsend Farms, Inc. recalled certain lots of its frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend on June 4, 2013
Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include:
40 out of 55 ill people interviewed, reported eating "Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend" frozen berry and pomegranate mix and 40 reported buying the product from Costco.
Certain lots of the product from April 20 until June 1, are thought to be considered dangerous: T041613E or T041613C and a "BEST BY" code of 101614.
The U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention urged that "even if some of the product has been eaten without anyone in your home becoming ill, the rest of the product should be discarded."
Written by Joseph Nordqvist