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Frozen organic strawberry recall widens

An outbreak of hepatitis A has prompted the Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham, Oregon, to recall the frozen fruit sold at Costco, Aldi, Trader Joe’s and other locations.
Frozen recalled strawberries
Some brands of organic frozen strawberries have been recalled amid a hepatitis A outbreak. / Photo courtesy: FDA

Frozen organic strawberries sold at Costco, Aldi, Trader Joe’s and other retailers are being recalled in a hepatitis A outbreak that has sickened five people in Washington, federal health authorities announced.

On Friday, Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham, Oregon, recalled frozen fruit it distributed under the brand names Simply Nature, Vital Choice, Kirkland Signature, Made With, PCC Community Markets and Trader Joe’s (an organic tropical fruit blend of pineapple, bananas, strawberries and mango).

On Thursday, San Diego-based California Splendor recalled select lots of four-pound bags of Kirkland Signature Frozen Organic Strawberries sold at Costco stores in Los Angeles, Hawaii and San Diego.

A full list of recalled products and their UPC codes can be found here.

“Although hepatitis A has not been detected on this product, out of an abundance of caution, consumers should stop consuming the product and return it to their local store for a refund,” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a statement. “The company has ceased production and distribution of the product as FDA and the company continue their investigation as to what caused the problem.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it recommends that people who purchased the frozen organic strawberries and consumed them within the last two weeks should contact their health care provider to discuss receiving post-exposure prophylaxis treatment.

Two people have been hospitalized in the outbreak, and illnesses have been reported from Nov. 24 to Dec. 27 of last year, the CDC said.

The affected strawberries were grown in Baja California, Mexico.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection that’s caused by a virus found in the stool and blood of infected people. It is spread through ingestion.

Symptoms of hepatitis A take quite a while to appear, usually two to seven weeks after exposure, according to the CDC. Illness can last from a few weeks to a few months and can progress to liver failure in people who have pre-existing illness or who are immune compromised.

Those with hepatitis A can experience fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, abnormal liver tests, dark urine and pale stool, the FDA said.




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