CDC suspects blackberries as source of hepatitis A outbreak

November 27, 2019

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local partners, are investigating a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A illnesses potentially linked to fresh conventional (non-organic) blackberries from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.

CDC has updated its case counts to 14 illnesses, with the most recent illness onset date on Nov. 15.

Based on the epidemiological information collected in the investigation thus far, ill patients reported consuming fresh conventional blackberries from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores in five states: Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

However, traceback information to date shows that these berries came from a distribution center that ships fresh berries to Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores in 11 states: Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. As this investigation continues, the FDA will work with our federal and state partners to obtain additional information during the traceback investigation and will update this advisory as more information becomes available.

The FDA is urging consumers to not eat any fresh conventional blackberries if purchased Sept. 9-30 from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores in the 11 states mentioned above.

"At this time, there is no reason to believe that any of the product was contaminated via handling in our stores," Fresh Thyme said in a statement. "In addition, the agencies are only concerned with product purchased between Sept. 9 and Sept. 30; product purchased or consumed outside of these dates are not subject to the investigation. We are working with these agencies to identify our suppliers and isolate the source of this contamination. Fresh Thyme takes the health and safety of our customers and our team members very seriously. Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has a stringent process for ensuring compliance to all local, state and federal health and hygiene regulations.

"Fresh Thyme is committed to the health and safety of our customers, and we will continue to work closely with these agencies to determine the source of the contamination," the company said in the statement.

Students gain real world experience thanks to L&M internships
The future of the produce industry will depend largely on new people being introduced to the field, which is why L&M Cos. offers internships based on seasonal needs throughout the L&M farms, warehouses and sales teams. “Intern programs in fresh produce are great exposure for young people to be a part of a vital industry,” Read More ...
New Whole Foods Market features 75 local growers
Whole Foods Market recently opened a new 35,000-square-foot store in East Austin, TX. Special features of the new East Austin store include: Produce department offering a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, including selections from about 75 local growers throughout the year including fresh flowers, peaches and Read More ...
Retailer announces plans to rebuild
CUB and its franchise partner Jerry’s Foods announced its commitment to the Minneapolis community to rebuild its Broadway Avenue and Lake Street stores, both of which are owned by Jerry’s Foods. CUB also announced that while those two locations remain closed, CUB plans to open temporary community stores at each location to Read More ...
Sun World takes firm stance on IP rights breach
California-based variety development and licensing company Sun World International LLC has reached settlement of a dispute with a prominent Australian table grape producer (and associated entities) within the Sunraysia region. This follows breaches of Sun World’s intellectual property and contractual rights discovered Read More ...
Fall Creek names regional director for Mexico
Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Inc., a global blueberry breeding and nursery company, has announced that Alberto Medina-Mora has joined the company as regional director for Mexico. Most recently, Medina-Mora served as senior director of development and innovation at NatureSweet Mexico, a vertically integrated tomato grower, Read More ...
Big Y exec breaks new ground
Theresa A. Jasmin has joined Big Y Foods as chief financial officer following the recent retirement of William T. Mahoney. She is responsible for the company’s strategic planning, finance, accounting, treasury and tax functions. As a senior member of the executive team, she reports to Charles L. D’Amour, president and CEO along with Read More ...