FOOD OUTBREAK SCAN: E coli outbreak over, 5-state hepatitis A outbreak reported

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May 31, 2013

CDC declares E coli outbreak from frozen foods over
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday declared that a 19-state, 35-case outbreak of Escherichia coli illness traced to Farm Rich frozen foods is over. In an update, the agency said that 82% of patients were 21 years old or younger, and nine patients required hospitalization from the O121 outbreak strain. No new cases have been reported since the CDC's previous update on May 10. On Apr 4 Farm Rich recalled all Farm Rich, Market Day, and Schwan's brand frozen food products produced at its Waycross, Ga., plant from Jul 1, 2011, to Mar 29, 2013. "This outbreak appears to be over," the CDC said in yesterday's update. "However, the recalled products have a long shelf-life, and they may still be in peoples' freezers."
May 30 CDC update

Multistate 30-case hepatitis A outbreak may be linked to frozen berry mix
Thirty people in five states have contracted hepatitis A in an outbreak possibly linked to a frozen berry blend, the CDC reported today. The same strain, genotype 1B, was involved in an outbreak in Europe this year linked to frozen berries and a 2012 outbreak in British Columbia tied to a frozen berry blend, the agency said. Patients' ages range from 25 to 71 years, and two thirds are women. Illness-onset dates range from Apr 28 to May 17, and nine of the patients have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Of 17 patients interviewed, 11 (65%) reported eating Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend, a frozen berry and pomegranate seed mix, and 11 people who provided purchase information said they bought this product at Costco markets. Costco has removed the products from its shelves and alerted customers who bought the mix since late February. Patients are from Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and California. Preliminary lab studies of samples from two patients indicated genotype 1B, a strain rarely seen in the Americas, the CDC said. It circulates in North Africa and the Middle East. The berry mix contains ingredients from the United States, Argentina, Chile, and Turkey. "Hepatitis A is a human disease and usually occurs when an infected food handler prepares food without appropriate hand hygiene," the CDC said.
May 30 CDC update

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