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Food Poison Journal Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

Pomegranate Hepatitis A Risk Expands

Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham, Oregon today announced it is voluntarily recalling 5,091 cases (61,092 eight ounce bags) of Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels. Based on an ongoing epidemiological and traceback investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of an illness outbreak, the kernels have the potential to be contaminated with Hepatitis A virus.

No illnesses are currently associated with Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels and product testing to date shows no presence of Hepatitis A virus in Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels. The company’s decision to voluntarily recall products is made from an abundance of caution in response to an ongoing outbreak investigation by the FDA and CDC. The organic pomegranates are imported from Turkey.

Products were shipped from February 2013 through May 2013 to UNFI distribution centers in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington State. UNFI distribution centers may have further distributed products to retail stores in other states.

Woodstock Organic Pomegranate Kernels are sold in eight-ounce (227 gram) resealable plastic pouches (see image) with UPC Code 0 42563 01628 9. Specific coding information to identify the product can be found on the back portion of these pouches below the zip-lock seal. The following lots are subject to this recall:

  • C 0129 (A,B, or C) 035 with a best by date of 02/04/2015
  • C 0388 (A,B, or C) 087 with a best by date of 03/28/2015
  • C 0490 (A,B, or C) 109 with a best by date of 04/19/2015

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.