As of February 19th, 2020, this investigation is complete.
20 outbreak-associated cases of hepatitis A were reported from 7 states (Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin).
Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 8, 2019, to November 15, 2019. Ill people range in age from 14 to 73 years, with a median age of 50. Sixty-seven percent of ill people are female. Of 17 people with available information, 11 were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Traceback information to date shows that the berries came from a distribution center that ships fresh berries to Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores in 11 states: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
In interviews, 19/20 (95%) of the ill reported eating fresh blackberries. And of the 17 cases with known fresh blackberry purchase location information, 16/17 (94%) purchased them from either Fresh Thyme or Woodman’s Market.
If you purchased fresh blackberries from Fresh Thyme or Woodman’s between Sept. 9 and 30, you should check your freezer for these blackberries. If you froze them to eat later, do not eat them. Throw away any remaining blackberries.
If you have eaten these blackberries, purchased fresh and later frozen, within the last 14 days and are not vaccinated against hepatitis A, contact your local health department or healthcare provider to discuss getting post exposure prophylaxis (hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin). Getting post exposure prophylaxis within 14 days of exposure can help prevent illness.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. The hepatitis A virus is found in the stool and blood of people who are infected. The hepatitis A virus is spread when someone ingests the virus, usually through close personal contact with an infected person or from eating contaminated food or drink. Hepatitis A can be prevented with a vaccine, which is recommended for all children at age one and adults at risk.
Hepatitis A: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $700 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food. The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Costco, Subway, McDonald’s, Red Robin, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr. We proudly represented the family of Donald Rockwell, who died after consuming hepatitis A tainted food and Richard Miller, who required a liver transplant after eating food at a Chi-Chi’s restaurant.
If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis A attorneys for a free case evaluation.