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Hepatitis A outbreak in multiple states traced back to berries sold at Fresh Thyme stores



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The outside of Fresh Thyme is seen Nov. 21 at College Mall. Blackberries sold at Fresh Thyme stores in multiple states are the source of a Hepatitis A outbreak. Karen Cheng Buy Photos

Midwest-based grocery store chain Fresh Thyme has been linked to a Hepatitis A outbreak in multiple states including Indiana from blackberries bought between Sept. 9 and Sept. 30 containing the disease. 

Fresh Thyme is urging any blackberries bought within that time to be immediately thrown away or returned to the store for a refund. Bloomington has two Fresh Thyme locations: One at 2812 E. Third St. and another at 3600 W. Third St.

According to a Food and Drug Administration statement, the outbreak is occurring in Indiana, Nebraska and Wisconsin, but the distribution center that ships the berries goes to 11 states, including Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

A statement from Fresh Thyme said it has no reason to believe the contamination came from inside the stores.

“Only 11 people have gotten sick,” said Mike Grossman, the chief integration officer at Schafer Condon Carter, Fresh Thyme’s public relations agency. “Right now we’re cooperating with FDA and CDC.”

He said the company will get more details about how the number and locations of the outbreak while the traceback investigation is occurring. The FDA will update the advisory as it gains more information. 

The FDA statement said those who have not been vaccinated for Hepatitis A should contact a health care professional immediately.

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