The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have joined state and local health departments to announce the end of the outbreak of hepatitis A virus (HAV) from blackberries purchased in 11 largely Midwestern states.
By February 19, 20 cases of hepatitis A had been reported in seven states, including Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The most recent new infection was reported on November 15.
The individuals who contracted the virus reported having eaten fresh nonorganic blackberries bought from either Fresh Thyme Farmers Market or Woodman’s Market.
The FDA was not able to identify a single source of the outbreak. The CDC, for its part, has announced that the investigation into the matter has concluded.
If individuals bought contaminated blackberries and then froze and ate them later, this could still lead to a hepatitis A infection. Consequently, the FDA recommends discarding such berries if individuals purchased fresh nonorganic blackberries between September 9 and 30 from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin or from Woodman’s Markets in Wisconsin or Illinois.
Any individual who is not vaccinated for hepatitis A, who purchased such blackberries from these locations and who consumed them within the past two weeks should contact a health care provider to determine whether they should receive postexposure prophylaxis treatment, a preventive treatment meant to thwart hep A infection, should it exist, in its early stages.
To read the FDA report, click here.