Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Fresh Blackberries

The investigation has potentially identified the source in conventional blackberries purchased from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.

November 22, 2019

WASHINGTON—Consumers in 11 states should discard fresh conventional (non-organic) blackberries purchased from Fresh Thyme stores between September 9 and 30, 2019, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local partners, are investigating a multistate outbreak of Hepatitis A illnesses in Indiana, Nebraska and Wisconsin potentially linked to fresh conventional (non-organic) blackberries from the grocery store Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.

Based on the epidemiological information collected in the investigation thus far, ill patients reported consuming fresh conventional blackberries from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores in three states: Indiana, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

However, traceback information to date shows that these berries came from a distribution center that ships fresh berries to Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores in 11 states: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. As this investigation continues, the FDA will work with federal and state partners to obtain additional information during the traceback investigation and will update the advisory as more information becomes available.

The FDA urges consumers to not eat any fresh conventional blackberries if purchased between September 9 and 30, 2019, from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores in the 11 states mentioned above. People who purchased the fresh blackberries and then froze those berries for later consumption should not eat these berries. Rather, they should be thrown away.

If consumers purchased fresh conventional blackberries from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores in the 11 states listed above between September 9-30, ate those berries in the last two weeks, and have not been vaccinated for the Hepatitis A virus (HAV), they should consult with their healthcare professional to determine whether post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is indicated. PEP is recommended for unvaccinated people who have been exposed to HAV in the last two weeks. Those with evidence of previous Hepatitis A vaccination or previous Hepatitis A infection do not require PEP.

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