Confirmed case of hepatitis A under investigation and additional vaccination clinic announced for this weekend

The Sudbury & District Health Unit is reporting a laboratory-confirmed case of hepatitis A in an individual in its service area.

“Our investigation of this reported case reveals that the individual had consumed the recently recalled Costco Nature’s Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend frozen berries,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Sudbury & District Medical Officer of Health. “Our investigation has not confirmed that the berries were the source of infection. However, it serves as an important reminder to double-check about consumption of the recalled berries and if so, to seek health advice,” said Dr. Sutcliffe.

On April 15, 2016, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a food recall warning for Costco’s Nature’s Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend frozen berries, sold between December 11, 2015, and April 15, 2016, due to possible hepatitis A contamination.

Anyone who ate the recalled product within the last 14 days—and who was not previously fully vaccinated—is strongly encouraged to receive their vaccination as soon as possible. It is within 14 days of consuming the product that the vaccine will be most effective in preventing disease in anyone exposed.

The Health Unit continues to offer free hepatitis A vaccine to anyone who consumed the product in the last 14 days and who is not fully vaccinated. An additional hepatitis A vaccination clinic will be held this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at its main office, 1300 Paris St., Sudbury. Health Unit vaccination clinics also run Monday to Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Food handlers, individuals who have direct patient care (hospital or long-term care home workers, volunteers or students) or who work in a child care setting should report to the Health Unit if they consumed the frozen berries within the last 50 days —even if they do not have any symptoms. The Health Unit will provide these individuals with employment-specific education.

The Health Unit is reminding people to check for consumption of the recalled product, which includes product purchased from any Costco location in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador between December 11, 2015, and April 15, 2016.

Individuals who have served recalled product to others including patrons of food premises, family, friends and colleagues are also encouraged to communicate this potential exposure to the Health Unit or with these individuals directly.

For more information, please contact the Health Unit at 705.522.9200 or toll-free at 1.866.522.9200, or speak with your health care provider as soon as possible. People who live outside of the Sudbury & District Health Unit’s service area are encouraged to contact their local public health unit.

This item was last modified on April 22, 2016