Frozen organic strawberries sold at Aldi, Costco and Trader Joe's linked to Hepatitis A outbreak
Time to check your freezer again.
Frozen organic strawberries sold in Aldi and Costco stores, and in a tropical fruit blend sold in Trader Joe's stores nationwide, have been recalled for a possible link to an outbreak of Hepatitis A.
Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham, Oregon is recalling the frozen strawberries sold under various brand names in 18 states at Aldi, Costco, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood, and PCC Community Markets. Trader Joe's recalled Organic Tropical Fruit Blend was sold across the U.S.
The company has ceased production and distribution of the products as the Food and Drug Administration and the company investigates, the FDA says.
There have been five outbreak-associated cases of Hepatitis A reported from Washington since March 13. All those people reported eating frozen organic strawberries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Those illnesses started on dates ranging from Nov. 24, 2022 to Dec. 17, 2022. No deaths have been reported, but two people have been hospitalized, the CDC says.
The affected strawberries have Best Used By dates of April 25, 2024 to Nov. 20, 2024. Hepatitis A has not been detected on the products, but the company and the FDA suggest consumers who might have them in their freezer to not eat it and return it to their local store for a refund.
"Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling frozen organic strawberries we received from our supplier," Maridean Eisele, owner and president of Scenic Fruit Company, said in a statement sent to USA TODAY. "The move is after our supplier, initiated the recall due to a possible link to frozen organic strawberries contaminated with the Hepatitis A virus."
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Investigation into 2022 Hepatitis A outbreak
The recall is an expansion of an investigation begun in February by the CDC and FDA involving a Hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen organic strawberries imported by a common supplier from certain farms located in Baja California, Mexico.
At that time, California Splendor of San Diego, California, voluntarily recalled certain lots of 4-pound bags of Kirkland Signature Frozen Organic Whole Strawberries sold at Costco stores in Los Angeles and Hawaii, and at two San Diego business centers.
During the investigation, the FDA found that the strain of Hepatitis A virus currently causing illnesses is genetically identical to the strain that caused an outbreak of Hepatitis A virus infections in 2022. Frozen strawberries imported in 2022 are the likely source of this current Hepatitis A outbreak, the CDC said.
Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver infection, according to the CDC. It is a contagious illness and symptoms – such as fatigue, nausea, stomach pain and jaundice – can last up to two months. In rare cases, Hepatitis A can result in liver failure and death, the FDA said.
If you have eaten any of the recalled strawberries within the last 14 days and are not vaccinated against Hepatitis A, the CDC recommends contacting your local health department or health care provider for possible vaccine or other treatment to help prevent illness.
Organic strawberries and tropical fruit blend recalled
The following products are subject to this recall and, in some cases, were sold at various stores in multiple states:
Simply Nature Organic Strawberries: 24 oz. size; UPC: 4099100256222; Best by date: 6/14/2024. Sold in Aldi stores in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Vital Choice Organic Strawberries: 16 oz. size; UPC: 834297005024; Best by date: 5/20/2024. Sold in Washington.
Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberries: 4 lbs. size; UPC: 96619140404 ; Best by date:10/8/2024. Sold in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington.
Made With Organic Strawberries: 10 oz. size; UPC: 814343021390; Best by date: 11/20/2024. Sold in Illinois and Maryland.
PCC Community Markets Organic Strawberries: 32 oz. size; UPC: 22827109469; Best by date: 10/29/2024. Sold in Washington.
Trader Joe's Organic Tropical Fruit Blend Pineapple, Bananas, Strawberries & Mango: 16 oz. size; UPC: 00511919; Best by dates: 04/25/24, 05/12/24, 05/23/24, 05/30/24, 06/07/24. Sold nationwide.
Consumers with questions may contact Scenic Fruit via email at email@example.com.
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Contributing: Jordan Mendoza
Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @mikesnider.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Strawberries, fruit sold at Trader Joe's recalled for Hepatitis A link