Tainted Pomegranate Seeds Recalled
By Sean Powers
Health officials are warning the public about tainted pomegranate seeds from Turkey that have found their way to 11 Illinois counties, including Champaign, McLean, and Peoria.
Illnesses have been reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wisconsin. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the people who were reported ill in Wisconsin were exposed to the product in California.
“This outbreak highlights the food safety challenge posed by today’s global food system,” said Michael R. Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine. “The presence in a single product of multiple ingredients from multiple countries compounds the difficulty of finding the cause of an illness outbreak. The Hepatitis A outbreak shows how we have improved our ability to investigate and respond to outbreaks, but also why we are working to build a food safety system that more effectively prevents them.”
The Illinois Department of Public Health’s Melanie Arnold said stores that carry seeds from these companies have been advised to pull them from shelves.
“Both products have been voluntarily recalled by the company, so they should be taken off all of the store shelves," she said. "What we’re concerned about is that people may have brought them previously and put them in the freezer and stored them. We want to make sure people check their freezers to see if they have either of these brands, and if they do they need to dispose of them.”
People who contract Hepatitis A from eating the pomegranate seeds may experience fatigue, fever, and vomiting.
So far, the Illinois health department said no one in the state has become sick.