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State health department warns of bad pomegranate seeds

Updated: July 2, 2013 4:58PM

If you bought frozen pomegranate seeds or a mixture containing pomegranate seeds since February, the Illinois Department of Public Health wants to make sure you check the brand before eating them.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have determined the most likely source of a multistate hepatitis A virus outbreak is a common shipment of pomegranate seeds from Turkey used in the Townsend Farms and Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Blends, a release from the state Department of Public Health said.

These seeds were also used by Scenic Fruit Company to make its Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels. Both companies have voluntarily recalled these products, the release said.

As of June 27, the CDC confirmed 127 people have become ill from Hepatitis A after eating Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend in 8 states: Arizona (17), California (64), Colorado (25), Hawaii (7), New Mexico (5), Nevada (5), Utah (2), and Wisconsin (2).

The health department says that so far 11 Illinois counties have received Scenic Fruit Company product, although no illnesses have yet been linked to this product. Counties affected include Cook, DuPage, and Lake.

Hepatitis A symptoms may include fatigue, poor appetite, fever, vomiting, darker urine and jaundice. Symptoms can appear from 15 to 50 days after exposure, but usually within 28 to 30 days of being exposed to the virus.

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