FDA recalls frozen strawberries linked to hepatitis A ‘outbreak’

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating the recall of several brands of frozen organic strawberries. According to the official website, this food item has been linked to an “outbreak” of hepatitis A.

Kirkland has issued a recall of bags of frozen organic strawberries

The FDA investigation was prompted by a supplier, California Splendor, Inc., that recalled Kirkland’s bags of frozen organic whole strawberries on March 16. According to the government notice, the supplier level recovered 4-lb. Kirkland’s signature bag of organic frozen strawberries. The bags are said to have been sold at Costco stores in Los Angeles, California and Hawaii. As well as two business centers in San Diego, California.

At the time of announcement, Hepatitis A had not been detected “on this product”. However, “out of an abundance of caution,” the supplier and the FDA encourage consumers to discontinue consumption and return the item for a full refund.

You can find the lot number for this first recall here.

Additionally, the supplier “stopped” production and distribution of the product as the FDA began a full investigation.

A Scenic Fruity Company Recalls Their Frozen Organic Strawberries

According to the FDA, Scenic Fruit Company immediately issued a recall for their frozen organic strawberries.

The items are said to have been sold at Costco, Aldi, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood and PCC Community Markets in Washington. Additionally, the company is also recalling frozen organic tropical mixes sold at Trader Joe’s nationwide.

At this time, stores that have received products are located in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah , and Maryland, according to this report.

Consumers can use the link above to determine if they have an affected bag of frozen fruit by referring to the UPC barcode and “best by day” product.

More Information about Hepatitis A & Important Consumer Information

On March 17, the FDA shared an additional update, summarizing retailers and frozen food batches in relation to the virus outbreak.

In addition, the FDA also shared more details about the “very contagious” hepatitis A virus. According to their website, hepatitis A usually occurs within 15-50 days “after eating or drinking contaminated food or water”. Symptoms include “fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine and pale stools.”

However, in children under 6 years of age, the infection may be asymptomatic. This means “producing or not having symptoms,” according to Oxford Languages.

Additionally, while the FDA investigation is still ongoing, consumers should not “sell, serve, or eat the recalled frozen strawberries.” If a person has eaten frozen strawberries within the past two weeks and has not been vaccinated against Hepatitis A or notices symptoms of infection, they should see a doctor immediately.

According to the CDC, symptoms of Hepatitis A can “last up to 2 months”. In rare cases, the infection can “cause liver failure and even death.”

FDA findings to date

Furthermore, the FDA found that the affected frozen strawberries were sourced from “certain farms in Baja California, Mexico.” The food item was sold “to multiple retailers under multiple brands”.

So far, 5 people are believed to have contracted the disease and 2 have been hospitalized. The individuals are believed to be all in Washington. Additionally, the Hepatitis A strain causing the current outbreak also matches the strain causing the outbreak in 2022, CNET reports.

There were no deaths from infection. However, the distribution of frozen strawberries is now listed as “national”.

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