Press Release
July 2, 2013
Melaney Arnold (217) 558-0500
Communications Manager

Recalled Pomegranate Seeds Distributed in Illinois

Check your freezer for the recalled brands

SPRINGFIELD – If you bought frozen pomegranate seeds or a mixture containing pomegranate seeds since February, the Illinois Department of Public Health wants to make sure you check the brand before eating them.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have determined the most likely source of a multistate hepatitis A virus outbreak is a common shipment of pomegranate seeds from Turkey used in the Townsend Farms and Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Blends. These seeds were also used by Scenic Fruit Company to make its Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels. Both companies have voluntarily recalled these products.

As of June 27, 2013, the CDC confirmed 127 people have become ill from Hepatitis A after eating Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend in 8 states: Arizona (17), California (64), Colorado (25), Hawaii (7), New Mexico (5), Nevada (5), Utah (2), and Wisconsin (2).

“It’s important for people who have recently bought frozen pomegranate seeds or blends that contain pomegranate seeds to check for the recalled brands - Townsend Farms or Scenic Fruit. If you have either of these brands, you will want to dispose of them,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck.

To date, 11 Illinois counties have received Scenic Fruit Company product, although no illnesses have yet been linked to this product. Counties include Adams, Champaign, Cook, DuPage, Jackson, Lake, Madison, Mclean, Peoria, Sangamon and St Clair.

Hepatitis A symptoms may include fatigue, poor appetite, fever, vomiting, darker urine and jaundice. Symptoms can appear from 15 to 50 days after exposure, but usually within 28 to 30 days of being exposed to the virus.

The following website links contain recall notification information including photos of the product packaging.

Townsend Farms (Townsend Farms Antioxidant Blend and Harris Teeter Antioxidant Blend)
Scenic Fruit (Woodstock Organic Pomegranate Kernels)

The following website links contain updates on the hepatitis A investigation.

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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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