Food and Drug Administration
Frozen organic strawberries sold in stores across the US, including Costco, Aldi and Trader Joe’s, have been recalled due to the product’s potential link to an outbreak of hepatitis A infections in Washington state.
The Food and Drug Administration is advising people not to consume certain brands of frozen strawberries after five people who ate frozen strawberries last year later became ill. Two people were hospitalized, according to the federal agency.
An investigation by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that all five infected individuals had purchased the same brand of frozen organic strawberries before becoming ill. Those berries, which came from a common supplier who imported them from some farms in Baja California, Mexico, “are the likely source of this outbreak,” the CDC said.
Two companies have since issued voluntary recalls in response to the investigation. California Splendor of San Diego recalled specific lots of 4-pound bags of Kirkland Signature Frozen Organic Whole Strawberries sold at Costco stores in Los Angeles, Hawaii and two San Diego malls.
Scenic Fruit Company, based in Gresham, Ore., recalled frozen organic strawberries sold in several states — at Costco, Aldi, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood and PCC Community Markets. The company also recalled a frozen organic tropical fruit mix that includes strawberries, sold at Trader Joe’s locations nationwide.
The recall applies to the frozen products sold under the following brand names: Simply Nature, Vital Choice, Kirkland Signature, Made With, PCC Community Markets and Trader Joe’s.
The FDA urges consumers to destroy these products or return them to their local store for a refund “out of an abundance of caution.”
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection, according to the CDC, that is often spread through close contact with an infected person or by eating contaminated food or drink. Symptoms, which can take as many as seven weeks to appear, can include vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine or pale stools, diarrhea and fatigue.