Frozen organic strawberries that were sold at several stores, including Costco and Aldi, and were also included in a frozen fruit mix at Trader Joe’s, are being recalled due to a link to an outbreak of hepatitis A infections in the state of Washington.
The US Food and Drug Administration issued the advisory, advising people not to eat, sell or serve certain brands of frozen organic strawberries.
So far, five people have been infected with hepatitis A after consuming them and two have been hospitalized.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the five people who became infected had eaten frozen strawberries, all sold by the same vendor.
The supplier had imported strawberries from specific farms in Baja California, Mexico, in 2022.
Frozen organic strawberries that were sold at several stores, including Costco and Aldi, and were also included in a frozen fruit mix at Trader Joe’s, are being recalled due to a link to an outbreak of hepatitis A infections in the state of washington.
The supplier had imported strawberries from specific farms in Baja California, Mexico, in 2022. Pictured, a farm laborer works in a strawberry field in the San Quintin Valley, Baja California state, Mexico (file photo)
The hepatitis A strain behind the recent outbreak is genetically identical to the one responsible for another hepatitis outbreak last year. On that occasion, the source appeared to be fresh organic strawberries imported from Mexico and sold at various US retailers.
The bags of strawberries included in this current recall have expiration dates ranging from April to November 2024.
Both the CDC and FDA advise people to throw away any recalled strawberries they may have in their freezers or return them to the store where they were purchased for a refund.
The two suppliers that have recalled their frozen organic strawberries are San Diego-based California Splendor.
Simply Nature, organic strawberries are being recalled, left, as is Made With, organic strawberries, right
Kirkland Signature 4 lbs. bag of frozen organic whole strawberries, left, are on the recall list as is Trader Joe’s, organic tropical fruit mix, 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 Quintín, Baja California state (file photo)
It is recalling lots of 4-pound bags of Kirkland brand frozen strawberries purchased at Costco stores in California.
Gresham, Oregon-based Scenic Fruit Company is also voluntarily recalling frozen organic strawberries that were sold to Costco, Aldi, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood and PCC Community Markets in specific states, along with Trader Joe’s in the US.
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 stools.
People usually get sick 15 to 50 days after consuming or drinking contaminated food or water.
Some infections, particularly in children under the age of six, 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 lives, since the disease is linked to liver disease and cancer.