A hepatitis A outbreak tied to blackberries sold in Fresh Thyme grocery stores now includes 16 confirmed cases in six states.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 16 cases of hepatitis A, including seven in Nebraska, as part of the outbreak in Nebraska, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin.
Fresh Thyme has said it's cooperating with the investigation and working with suppliers to identify the source of the contamination.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has urged consumers in Nebraska, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania to discard any fresh blackberries bought from Fresh Thyme between Sept. 9 and Sept. 30.
Hepatitis A is a virus that infects the liver and can cause mild, flu-like symptoms for several weeks.
The FDA is urging consumers to not eat any fresh conventional blackberries if purchased between September 9 and September 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. They should be thrown away.
The FDA says 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.