For Immediate ReleaseJune 04, 2013
Public Health Officer says no cases documented in Marin
Although there have been no reported local cases of acute hepatitis A tied to consumption of frozen berries, the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working with a Costco store in Novato and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to provide guidance for the public and clinicians on precautions that can be taken.
As of June 3, 34 hepatitis A patients might be linked with consumption of a frozen berry product Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend that was sold through Costco stores in California, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. The product might also be sold at other stores, and an investigation is ongoing.
According to Costco, approximately 3,148 bags of the potentially contaminated berries were sold from the Novato location during the interval of potential contamination, indicated as between mid-February and the end of May. Costco has pulled the product from shelves and is contacting all members who purchased the berries via automated telephone message and letters.
Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis said public education on the subject is paramount at this juncture. “The risk of contracting acute hepatitis A, even if you’ve ingested this product, is really low, so that is reassuring,” he said.
Willis is issuing the following advice to consumers:
For more details on hepatitis A, see the CDPH fact sheet. Additional advice for consumers is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Visit https://www.marinhhs.org/ for more information.
Dr. Matthew WillisPublic Health OfficerHealth and Human Services
3240 Kerner Blvd.San Rafael, CA 94901(415) 473-4163Email: Dr. Matthew WillisMarin HHS website