Possible Frozen Fruit Tie to Hepatitis Cases in Canada
The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health officials to investigate an outbreak of Hepatitis A infections in three provinces thought to be linked to recalled Nature's Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend frozen fruit sold exclusively at Costco stores in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Currently, 13 cases of Hepatitis A in three provinces have been detected in Ontario (9), Quebec (3), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). They were reported in February and March of this year, and some of the people who became ill recalled eating the fruit in question. The majority of those affected are male (54%), with an average age of 41 years. Five persons have been hospitalized.
Food contaminated with Hepatitis A virus may not look or smell spoiled. The illness is usually mild and starts about 15 to 50 days after the contaminated food is eaten. It generally goes away by itself in a week or two, although it can last up to six months in some people. It can cause inflammation of the liver, and symptoms may include fever, low appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, and yellowing in the whites of the eyes and the skin (jaundice). Vaccination can prevent the onset of symptoms if given within two weeks of exposure.
Persons who still have 1.5 kg bags of Nature's Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend in their home freezers are urged not to consume the contents. The product carries “best before” dates up to March 15, 2018, and a UPC code of 8 73668 00179 1. For more information, visit http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/inspection/2016/57960r-eng.php