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.

Dirty thumbs: sent from my Blackberry

barfblog.com reader – and now several-time commenter – writes why do the Dirty Thumbers — the important individuals at work, at the mall, in a restaurant and other public venues – have to type away on their smart phone while pooping. So many times have I heard the clickity clack of a Blackberry scroll ball coming from the stall next to me or better yet the guy at the urinal with the smart phone in one hand and …

There was this one time I was at the urinal and felt my Blackberry vibrate in my pocket.

Of course I looked –after I washed my hands- outside of the restroom, in the hall, and it was an email from a fellow co-worker. A well written and concise message about a project he is working on with me. As I placed my Blackberry back in my pocket I was abruptly greeted by that same coworker exiting the restroom. He was obviously just in the crapper thumbing away. After an awkward glance and me now realizing he was a Dirty Thumber, I walked back to my desk and wondered to myself… “if I ever found this guy laying face down on the street and I didn’t have my phone but his was readily available, could I bring myself to calling 911 on his?.” Al Bundy use to say his best thoughts came to him while sitting on the throne…may be that is true for some people. However, if someone wants to make a smart phone smarter….engineer it out of antimicrobial parts.