The CDC reports as of July 3, 2013, 140 people have been confirmed to have become ill from hepatitis A after eating ‘Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend’ in 8 states: Arizona (20), California (69), Colorado (26), Hawaii (8), New Mexico (6), Nevada (6), Utah (3), and Wisconsin (2). [Note: The cases reported from Wisconsin resulted from exposure to the product in California.] 61 (44%) ill people (all over 18 years of age) have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

The outbreak strain of hepatitis A virus, belonging to genotype 1B, was found in clinical specimens of 56 people in seven states: AZ (6), CA (15), CO (22), HI (4), NM (4), NV (4) and WI (1; the person was exposed in California). This genotype is rarely seen in the Americas but circulates in North Africa and the Middle East.

By combining information gained from FDA’s traceback and traceforward investigations and the CDC’s epidemiological investigation, FDA and CDC have determined that the most likely vehicle for the hepatitis A virus appears to be a common shipment of pomegranate seeds from a company in Turkey, Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading.

  • stevesavage

    More and more organic ingredients are being sourced outside of the country putting consumers at unnecessary risk

  • StanfordLongevity

    Hardly surprising given Whole Foods purchasing process. One’s products, unless they are extremely popular, quickest route to the WF shelves goes through a back hander to the purchasing manager in many cases. The “fresh” foods buffet lines are microbe magnets, completely exposed to the airborne bacteria and viruses emitted by hundreds if not thousands of customers who circulate through the stores.

  • Wait a minute here… The organic industry is regulated by the USDA, not the FDA.

    Why should the USDA get a free ride if they’re the ones that run the National Organic Program?