Hep A: Not the fresh blackberries

I love the sourness of blackberries. As a child I used to pick baskets full to be made into pies by my aunt. As a grown up in Guelph (that’s in Canada) there was a huge blackberry tree next door and I would pick baskets full and make pies.

Hepatitis A cases in three states that are “potentially linked” to fresh blackberries bought at Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets stores in September.

Six of the 11 people who’ve been diagnosed have been hospitalized, according to the Food and Drug Administration, which is investigating the outbreak with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A Nov. 20 notice from the FDA said hepatitis A illnesses in Indiana, Nebraska and Wisconsin are potentially linked to fresh conventionally-grown blackberries. Patients told FDA investigators they bought and consumed the berries from Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets in those three states.

The blackberries came from a distribution center that served 11 states, and the FDA is working with “federal and state partners to obtain additional information during the traceback investigation,” according to the notice.

Fresh Thyme released a statement that there is no indication the berries were contaminated by in-store handling and only conventional blackberries sold from Sept. 9-30 are involved.