Weather Alert

Food Safety Alert – Blackberries From Fresh Thyme

(KFOR NEWS  November 21, 2019)  At least 11 cases of Hepatitis A this month have been traced to non-organic blackberries sold at Fresh Thyme in September. 6 of those cases are in Nebraska…none reported in Lincoln or Lancaster County.  4 people have gone to the hospital.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the blackberries came from Fresh Thyme grocery stores in Nebraska, Indiana and Wisconsin.  The FDA urges you NOT to eat any fresh blackberries purchased in September from Fresh Thyme grocery stores. Throw them away.

Advice to consumers from the CDC website:

CDC recommends that people who purchased fresh blackberries from any Fresh Thyme Farmers Market location (which has stores in 11 Midwest states) during September 9-30, 2019 take the following actions:

  • Check your freezer for these blackberries. If you froze them to eat later, do not eat them.
  • Throw away any remaining blackberries.
  • If you have eaten these blackberries, purchased fresh and later frozen, within the last 14 days and are not vaccinated against hepatitis A, contact your local health department or healthcare provider to discuss getting postexposure prophylaxis (hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin). Getting postexposure prophylaxis within 14 days of exposure can help prevent illness.

Latest Outbreak Information

  • As of November 20, 2019, this outbreak appears to be ongoing.
  • 11 outbreak-associated cases of hepatitis A have been reported from 3 states (Indiana, Nebraska, and Wisconsin).
    • Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 15, 2019, to November 5, 2019.
    • 6 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic and traceback evidence are being collected and analyzed. A single, common supplier of fresh blackberries has not been identified.
    • In interviews, 11/11 (100%) reported eating fresh blackberries
      • Of 9 cases with known fresh blackberry purchase location information, 9/9 (100%) purchased fresh blackberries from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market
  • This outbreak investigation is ongoing, and CDC will update the public when more information becomes available.

What is Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. The hepatitis A virus is found in the stool and blood of people who are infected. The hepatitis A virus is spread when someone ingests the virus, usually through close personal contact with an infected person or from eating contaminated food or drink. Hepatitis A can be prevented with a vaccine, which is recommended for all children at age one and adults at risk.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A

  • Symptoms of hepatitis A usually appear 2 to 7 weeks after exposure and can include
    • Yellow skin or eyes
    • Not wanting to eat
    • Upset stomach
    • Stomach pain
    • Throwing up
    • Fever
    • Dark urine or light-colored stools
    • Joint pain
    • Diarrhea
    • Feeling tired
  • Not everyone with hepatitis A has symptoms. Adults are more likely to have symptoms than children.
  • People who get hepatitis A may feel sick for a few weeks to several months but usually recover completely and do not have lasting liver damage. In some people, though, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.  In rare cases, hepatitis A can cause liver failure and even death. This is more common in older people and in people with other serious health issues, such as chronic liver disease.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  READ MORE:  Update on stabbing near 48th and O Street

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