March 19, 2023 | 01:18
The FDA has removed frozen strawberries sold at Costco, Trader Joe’s and Aldi after they were linked to hepatitis A cases.
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The FDA on Friday recalled frozen organic strawberries sold at several popular grocers — including Trader Joe’s and Costco — after the fruit was linked to several cases of hepatitis A.
According to the department, at least five people in Washington state were diagnosed with highly contagious hepatitis after eating the products, all linked to California Splendor, Inc., a San Diego-based supplier.
“Based on epidemiological data collected by the CDC, 5 out of 5 (100%) people who reported what they ate before becoming ill reported eating frozen organic strawberries,” the FDA said.
All exposed strawberries were imported from Baja California farms in Mexico.
The strain of hepatitis A virus at the root of the illnesses is genetically identical to the strain that caused the 2022 outbreak, which was also linked to fresh organic strawberries imported from the same region of Mexico, the FDA said.
Strawberries from the affected lot were disrupted across the country and were stocked on the shelves of Aldi, Costco, Trader Joe’s, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood and PCC Community Markets.
“Consumers, restaurants and retailers may not sell, serve or eat the recalled frozen strawberries. These recalled products should be returned or thrown away,” the FDA said.
California Splendor has recalled certain packages of frozen strawberries from Costco stores across California.
Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham, Oregon, issued a voluntary recall citing a “potential health risk.”
Hepatitis A symptoms usually appear 15-50 days after consuming contaminated products.
“Viral infections include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine, and light-colored stools,” according to the FDA. “In some cases, especially in children under the age of 6, hepatitis A infection may be asymptomatic.”