Frozen pomegranate kernels recalled over possible hepatitis A link
Safety • Utah stores pull product in light of ongoing probe.
Published: July 1, 2013 11:31PM
Updated: December 7, 2013 11:34PM

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food on Monday announced a statewide voluntary recall of Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels.

The kernels could be contaminated with hepatitis A virus, based on an ongoing investigation by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control.

No illnesses have been associated with the product, and testing to date shows no presence of the virus, said state officials.

Utah stores involved in the recall are Harvest Moon Health Foods in Layton, Good Earth Natural Foods in Riverdale, Good Earth Natural Foods in American Fork, Good Earth Natural Foods in Sandy, Good Earth Natural Foods in Orem, Good Earth Natural Foods in Provo, Davis Food and Drug in Laverkin, Sunshine Nutrition in Cedar City and Vitamin Cottage in Washington.

Utah officials said retail outlets have removed the product from shelves. Consumers who purchased the kernels are advised to discard them or return them to stores.

The product was shipped to distribution centers in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The distribution centers, in turn, shipped the products to retail stores in other states, which led to the company’s voluntary recall.

Anyone who has consumed the product should consult a health care professional or local health department to determine if a vaccination is appropriate. Consumers should seek immediate treatment if they have symptoms of hepatitis A, which include yellow eyes or skin, abdominal pain, pale stools and dark urine.

Although hepatitis A can cause severe sickness, nearly all who become ill recover completely with no lasting liver damage.

The organic pomegranates were imported from Turkey.

The product was sold in eight-ounce re-sealable plastic pouches with UPC Code 0 42563 01628 9, and was shipped from February through May. The following lots are subject to this recall:

C 0129 (A,B, or C) 035 with a best by date of 02/04/2015

C 0388 (A,B, or C) 087 with a best by date of 03/28/2015

C 0490 (A,B, or C) 109 with a best by date of 04/19/2015

An expanded description and images of packaging are available at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm358740.htm

Contaminated product update

In a separate case, the Utah Department of Health has identified three Hepatitis A cases associated with an earlier national outbreak in May involving pomegranate kernels from a product sold in Costco stores.

The contaminated food had been identified as Townsend Farms Organic Anti-oxidant Blend frozen berry mix that contained pomegranate seeds from the U.S., Argentina, Chile and Turkey.