The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it will detain shipments of pomegranate seeds from Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading of Turkey offered for import into the USA because of a possible link with cases of illness.
The FDA action follows an investigation into a multistate outbreak of Hepatitis A virus infection associated with Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend, a blend of frozen berries and seeds containing pomegranate seeds from Turkey. The outbreak has affected 147 people in eight states and is caused by genotype 1B of the virus, a strain rarely seen in the USA but common in North Africa and the Middle East. Epidemiological evidence suggests that a single shipment of seeds from Goknur may have been the source of the outbreak.
The FDA is now working to trace all the pomegranate seeds from the suspected shipment so that they can be removed from the food supply chain.