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.