CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A multi-state outbreak of hepatitis A illnesses in Indiana, Nebraska and Wisconsin are being investigated by the FDA, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The outbreak is potentially linked to fresh conventional (non-organic) blackberries from the grocery store, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.
The FDA is urging consumers to not eat any fresh blackberries if purchased between Sept. 9 and Sept. 30, 2019, from Fresh Thyme--which is located in 11 states, including Ohio.
Other states affected include Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Individuals who have not been vaccinated for the hepatitis A virus (HAV) should consult with their doctor.
Fresh Thyme offered the following statement, in response to the illnesses:
“The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control, in conjunction with other state and local agencies, have contacted us concerning a recent Hepatitis A outbreak in three states in the Midwest affecting an unspecified number of individuals. These agencies are investigating and believe that affected people may have consumed fresh conventional (non-organic) blackberries between September 9 and September 30, 2019. We are fully cooperating with these agencies on the investigation and are awaiting next steps. At this time, there is no reason to believe that any of the product was contaminated via handling in our stores. In addition, the agencies are ONLY concerned with product purchased between September 9 and September 30; product purchased or consumed outside of these dates are NOT subject to the investigation. We are working with these agencies to identify our suppliers and isolate the source of this contamination. Fresh Thyme takes the health and safety of our customers and our team members very seriously. Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has a stringent process for ensuring compliance to all local, state and federal health and hygiene regulations. Should any customers have any of the fresh conventional blackberries purchased between September 9 and September 30, remaining in their refrigerators or freezers, they should be discarded immediately or returned to Fresh Thyme for a refund. In Douglas County, NE, if you purchased any of these berries between September 9 and September 30, and still have them, please take them to the local health department for testing. Again, Fresh Thyme is committed to the health and safety of our customers, and we will continue to work closely with these agencies to determine the source of the contamination.”
If you believe that you have eaten these berries in the last two weeks contact your doctor.