Posted on November 21, 2019 by Sustainable Food News

Organic, natural discount grocer linked to hep A outbreak

CDC says fresh blackberries sold by Fresh Thyme are to blame for 6 hospitalizations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it is investigating a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A illnesses linked to fresh blackberries sold at Lakes Ventures, LLC dba Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, a 77-unit organic and specialty discount retailer in the Midwest.

The agency said six of the 11 people infected with hep A have been hospitalized.

Downers Grove, Ill.-based Fresh Thyme, founded in 2012, has recalled all fresh berries that came from a distribution center serving its stores in the 11 states it operates including Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

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

The agency said people should not eat any fresh conventional blackberries from Fresh Thyme if purchased between Sept. 9-30.

In related news, the CDC said it is also investigating an eight-state outbreak of E. coli infections linked to Ready Pac Bistro Bowl Chicken Caesar Salads.

So far, 17 people have been infected, with seven hospitalizations reported, including two people who have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. The infections were reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, Montana, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The Maryland Department of Health identified E. coli O157 in an unopened package of Ready Pac Bistro Bowl Chicken Caesar Salad collected from a sick person’s home in Maryland.

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