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FDA Investigating Hepatitis A Outbreak in Five States

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0  Updated at 11:09 am, June 1st, 2013 By: ABC Digital
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iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The U.S Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating an outbreak of Hepatitis A in five states that may be linked to a frozen food blend.

According to a press release from the FDA, at least 30 people have been infected with Hepatitis A in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and California. Thus far, 11 of 17 patients interviewed by the CDC said they ate Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend before they got sick.

The FDA has already begun to inspect Townsend Farms’ processing facilities in Fairview, Ore. Additionally, the FDA is working on a method to test berries for the Hepatitis A virus and will be testing samples related to the outbreak, including the frozen blend.

Hepatitis is a contagious liver disease that can range from mild to severe. According to the FDA, the infection is most commonly spread through ingestion of fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts. Symptoms of Hepatitis A include fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, abnormal liver tests, dark urine and pale stool.

The CDC is recommending that consumer do not eat Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend and that any remaining product should be thrown away, even if the product has already been partially eaten and no one has gotten sick. Retailers and food service operators are also being advised not to sell the anti-oxidant blend pending the end of the investigation.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio