Washington, D.C.—FDA is investigating a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A illnesses potentially linked to fresh non-organic blackberries from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, according to a notice from FDA. The outbreak is occurring in IN, NE, and WI, but traceback information shows that the berries in question came from a distribution center that ships fresh berries to Fresh Thyme stores in IA, IL, KY, MI, MO, MN, OH, and PA.
Consumers who purchased fresh conventional blackberries from Fresh Thyme between September 9 and September 30 should not eat them and should throw them away. Consumers who have frozen the berries should through them away. The berries can also be returned to Fresh Thyme for a refund. In Douglas County, NE, if you purchased any of these berries between September 9 and September 30, and still have them, please take them to the local health department for testing.
Those who have purchased and eaten the berries in the last two weeks, and have not been vaccinated for hepatitis A, should consult with their healthcare professional to determine whether post exposure prophylaxis is indicated.
In a statement, Fresh Thyme said: “At this time, there is no reason to believe that any of the product was contaminated via handling in our stores. In addition, the agencies are ONLY concerned with product purchased between September 9 and September 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.”