Frozen organic strawberries that have been sold at various stores including Costco and Aldi, and that were also included in a frozen fruit blend at Trader Joe’s, are being recalled due to a link with an outbreak of hepatitis A infections in Washington state.
The US Food and Drug Administration issued the warning, advising people not to consume, sell, or serve certain brands of frozen organic strawberries.
So far, five people have been infected with hepatitis A after consuming them with two having been hospitalized.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say all five of those who became infected individuals had eaten frozen strawberries all sold by the same supplier.
The supplier had imported strawberries from specific farms in Baja California, Mexico, in 2022.
Frozen organic strawberries that have been sold at various stores including Costco and Aldi, and that were also included in a frozen fruit blend at Trader Joe’s, are being recalled due to a link with an outbreak of hepatitis A infections in Washington state
The supplier had imported strawberries from specific farms in Baja California, Mexico, in 2022. Pictured, a farm day laborer works at a strawberry field in San Quintin Valley, Baja California State, Mexico (file photo)
The strain of hepatitis A that is behind the recent outbreak is genetically identical to the one responsible to another outbreak of hepatitis last year. On that occasion, the source appeared to be fresh organic strawberries imported from Mexico and sold at various retailers in the US.
The bags of strawberries included in this current recall have ‘best by’ dates ranging from April to November 2024.
Both the CDC and FDA are advising people to throw away any recalled strawberries they may have in their freezers or return them to the store where they purchased them from for a refund.
The two suppliers have recalled their frozen organic strawberries are California Splendor, based in San Diego.
Simply Nature, Organic Strawberries are being recalled, left, as are Made With, Organic Strawberries, right
Kirkland Signature 4-lb. bag Frozen Organic Whole Strawberries, left, are on the recall list as is Trader Joe’s, Organic Tropical Fruit Blend, right
One of the recalled items – Vital Choice frozen strawberries are being recalled
Fruit pickers hold baskets of strawberries as they line up before weighing them at a farm in San Quintin in Baja California state (file photo)
It is recalling batches of 4-pound bags of Kirkland brand frozen strawberries purchased at Costco stores in California.
Scenic Fruit Company, based in Gresham, Oregon, is also voluntarily recalling frozen organic strawberries that were sold to Costco, Aldi, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood, and PCC Community Markets in specific states, together with Trader Joe’s across the US.
The strawberries found in Trader Joe’s Organic Tropical Fruit Blend are also subject to the recall.
Hepatitis A is a virus that attacks the liver with symptoms including fatigue, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, and pale stool.
People typically get sick between 15 and 50 days after consuming or drinking the contaminated food or water.
Some infections, particularly in children under six years old, may not cause symptoms.
The virus can survive freezing and can last for several hours on hands and even days on contaminated surfaces.
The CDC recommends that all adults be screened for hepatitis B at least once in their lifetime as the illness is linked to liver disease and cancer.