All News / /

Hepatitis cases rise to 635 in Beaver County

The number of confirmed hepatitis A cases stemming from a Beaver County restaurant outbreak has risen to 635, an increase of 20 since last week.

As the incidence tapers off, the state Department of Health is now updating the overall number of cases once a week, rather than daily. Of the confirmed cases, 560 are Pennsylvania residents, 430 of whom live in Beaver County. Another 75 people from eight other states have confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, an executive with a California produce distributor said yesterday his company was unjustly named in a lawsuit filed this week in connection with the outbreak.

Newstar Fresh Foods of Salinas, Calif., doesn't distribute produce raised by any of the Mexican firms implicated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's investigation into the Beaver County outbreak, said Bob Whitaker, a company vice president.

Newstar and three other U.S. distributors were listed as suppliers to the Beaver Valley Mall Chi-Chi's in a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Pittsburgh.

"The guidelines I use with my growers here in Salinas, Calif., are the same as the ones we use in Mexico," where the company owns and leases farmland, Whitaker said. "Our company has not been implicated by FDA."

FDA investigators visited Newstar on Nov. 18, but subsequently cleared the firm after reviewing company information that traced scallion shipments, Whitaker said.

Another distributor named in the lawsuit, Boskovich Farms of Oxnard, Calif., released a statement saying its green onions haven't been implicated by authorities.

A third distributor named in the lawsuit -- Apio Fresh of Guadalupe, Calif. -- issued a statement last month in which it said it was voluntarily withdrawing its green onions from the market. One of the company's green onion suppliers in Mexico had been identified by FDA as potentially -- but not specifically -- connected with the hepatitis outbreaks, the company said.

No spokesman was available from Castellini Co., a Wilder, Ky., distributor also named in the lawsuit.

Get Help

Affected by an outbreak or recall?

The team at Marler Clark is here to answer all your questions. Find out if you’re eligible for a lawsuit, what questions to ask your doctor, and more.

Get a free consultation
Related Resources
E. coli


E. coli Food Poisoning

What is E. coli and how does it cause food poisoning? Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a highly studied, common species of bacteria that belongs to the family Enterobacteriaceae, so...

E. coli O157:H7

E. coli O157:H7 is a foodborne pathogen that causes food poisoning. E. coli O157:H7 is the most commonly identified and the most notorious Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) serotype in...

Non-O157 STEC

Non-O157 Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli can also cause food poisoning. E. coli O157:H7 may be the most notorious serotype of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), but there are at least...

Sources of E. coli

Where do E. coli O157:H7 and non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) come from? The primary reservoirs, or ultimate sources, of E. coli O157:H7 and non-O157 STEC in nature are...

Outbreak Database

Looking for a comprehensive list of outbreaks?

The team at Marler Clark is here to answer all your questions. Find out if you’re eligible for a lawsuit, what questions to ask your doctor, and more.

View Outbreak Database