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Antioxidant berry blend recalled

OW Staff | 6/5/2013, 5 p.m.

Townsend Farms Inc. of Fairview, Ore., is voluntarily recalling certain lots of its frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Hepatitis A virus, based on an ongoing epidemiological and traceback investigation of an illness outbreak by the Federal Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control.

The product was sold at Costco warehouse stores under the product name Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend, 3 lb. bag and UPC 0 78414 404448. The recalled codes are located on the back of the package with the words "BEST BY"; followed by the code T012415 sequentially through T053115, followed by a letter. All of these letter designations are included in this recall for the lot codes listed above. Photos of the package are attached.

The product was also sold at Harris Teeter stores from April 19 until May 7, under the product name Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend, 10 oz. bag UPC 0 72036 70463 4. The correct "lot" and "best by" codes are as follows: Lot Codes T041613E, T0401613C and a "BEST BY" code of 101614.

Townsend Farms is implementing this voluntary recall after learning that one of the ingredients of the frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend, pomegranate seeds processed in Turkey, may be linked to an illness outbreak outside of the United States. Thirty-four cases of Hepatitis A are being investigated to date in the U.S.; all are recovering. At this time, Hepatitis A has not been found in the product.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from exposure to the Hepatitis A virus, including from food. It can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious illness lasting several months. Illness generally occurs within 15 to 50 days of exposure and includes fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, abnormal liver tests, dark urine and pale stool. Hepatitis A vaccination can prevent illness, if given within two weeks of exposure to a contaminated food. In rare cases, particularly consumers who have a pre-existing severe illness or are immune-compromised, Hepatitis A infection can progress to liver failure.

If you consumed the affected product, consult with your healthcare professional or local health department to determine if a vaccination is appropriate. Consumers with symptoms of Hepatitis A should immediately contact their healthcare professionals or the local health department. Consumers with the product should not consume it. The product should be disposed of immediately. Please keep proof of product purchase.

For questions or more information, contact a Townsend Farms customer service representative by phone or email at (800) 875-5291; townsendfarms5148@stericycle.com.

Customer service representatives will be available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. PDT to respond to inquiries.