U.S. food regulators said candy sold by a Kentucky-based firm and QVC is being voluntarily recalled out of fear that it may be contaminated with hepatitis A.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Bauer’s Candies’ famous Modjeskas, which are individually-wrapped marshmallow candies dipped in chocolate or caramel, came into contact with a worker who tested positive for hepatitis A, a contagious liver disease.
The FDA advised that customers who bought the candies should throw them away.
The firm said the employee tested positive for the virus had worked at the facility from Nov. 16 to Nov. 23, said Anna Bauer, president of Bauer’s Candies, in a statement.
“Upon notification of his illness, Bauer’s voluntarily closed the facility, discarded all candy in house, sanitized per protocol, and began working with federal and state agencies,” said Bauer in the statement.
“An investigation by our local health department and the FDA found that the risk of contamination to the candy made during this time is extremely low. These agencies have cleared us to continue operation. No candy products manufactured after November 25 are affected in any way,” she added.
In it’s alert, the FDA said the chance of contacting hepatitis A from the candies is low, but it advised customers who ate any recalled candies to see a doctor to see if they need medicine to treat a possible infection.
The FDA added that the products could be purchased via QVC and BauersCandy.com.
According to the agency, “Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with HAV.”
The Food and Drug Administration is recalling Bauer’s Candies Chocolate and Caramel Modjeskas sold on QVC and online because it could be contaminated with hepatitis A.
It adds: “When symptoms occur, they can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.”
Meanwhile, hepatitis A is generally spread when a “person ingests fecal matter—even in microscopic amounts—from an infected person,” said the regulator.
It can happen when an infected person prepares food without washing their hands, even if the person doesn’t show signs of illness.
Customers who purchased these chocolate and caramel gourmet candies after Nov. 14 should throw them out. https://t.co/X4gJOGTK6H
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People with questions or concerns can contact Bauer’s Candies at 502-839-3700 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
People infected with hepatitis A might not have symptoms until 15 to 50 days they are exposed, said the FDA in its notice.
“Symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes (known as jaundice), dark urine, and pale stool. Young children may not show symptoms of HAV infection,” according to the recall.
The Mayo Clinic says hepatitis A can be spread through a variety of ways.
It can spread by eating food handled by someone with the virus who hasn’t thoroughly washed their hands after using the toilet, drinking contaminated water, eating raw shellfish from polluted water, being in close contact with a person who was infected, or having intercourse with someone who has the virus.
Unlike other types of hepatitis, it doesn’t cause long-term liver damage and doesn’t become chronic, the Mayo Clinic adds. But it can, in rare cases, cause a loss of liver function, namely in older adults or people with preexisting liver diseases.
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“Acute liver failure requires a stay in the hospital for monitoring and treatment. Some people with acute liver failure may need a liver transplant,” says the Mayo Clinic.
The Clinic recommends that people traveling to countries where hepatitis A outbreaks occur should take the necessary precautions:
-Peel and wash all fresh fruits and vegetables yourself.
-Don’t eat raw or undercooked meat and fish.
-Drink bottled water and use it when brushing your teeth.
-Avoid all beverages of unknown purity, with or without ice.
-If bottled water isn’t available, boil tap water before drinking it.
-Practice good hygiene
-Thoroughly wash your hands often, especially after using the toilet or changing a diaper and before preparing food or eating.