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Politics // The Right Price
Larry Price

Lack Of Info Is Berry Scary

State health officials gave us a good scare last week when they announced they had uncovered four cases of Hepatitis A in Hawaii, two on Oahu and one on Kauai.

That was the simple part of the scare. Trying to find out what was going on or whom to call for information was the real eye-opener.

It all started with word that Townsend Farms of Fairview, Ore., was recalling its organic berry mix that includes pomegranate seeds imported from Turkey, because they might be the source of a virus that had infected 49 people in seven states.

Townsend said the seeds “might” be linked to the outbreak.

Once everyone’s curiosity was aroused, trying to find out anything else about the recall was almost comical if it weren’t so serious.

Townsend revealed that the mix was pulled from Costco shelves Wednesday.

The berry mix is known as Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend.

That seems like a long name for a bunch of contaminated berries.

Forget trying to find out from anyone locally what to do to protect yourself from the contaminated berries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was advising the public not to eat Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend and to discard any remaining product.

After you call and explain to the party on the other end what you’re calling about, you are out of breath.

“Hello, I’m calling about the Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend outbreak in Honolulu, Hawaii.”

They told me go online for information at www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/Out breaks/2013/S1lb-03-3/index.html. I know, it’s a long Web address for a small bunch of berries.

If you don’t have a computer, finding a telephone number could have taken forever and have more people hospitalized trying to find answers.

While management at Costco performed admirably, getting answers from government agencies left a lot to be desired.

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