March 19, 2023 | 01:18
The FDA has recalled frozen strawberries sold at Costco, Trader Joe’s and Aldi after they were linked to cases of hepatitis A.
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Frozen organic strawberries sold at several popular grocery stores — including Trader Joe’s and Costco — were recalled by the FDA on Friday after the fruits were linked to several hepatitis A cases.
The department said at least five people in Washington state were diagnosed with the highly contagious liver infection after eating the products, all of which were linked to California Splendor, Inc., a San Diego-based supplier.
“Based on epidemiologic data collected by the CDC, 5/5 (100%) people who provided information about what they ate before becoming ill reported eating frozen organic strawberries,” the FDA said.
The affected strawberries were all imported from farms in Baja California, Mexico.
The strain of hepatitis A virus at the root of the illnesses is genetically identical to the strain that caused an outbreak in 2022, which was also linked to fresh organic strawberries imported from the same Mexican area, the FDA said.
Strawberries from the adulterated batch were disrupted nationwide and stocked on the shelves of Aldi, Costco, Trader Joe’s, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood and PCC Community Markets.
“Consumers, restaurants and retailers should not sell, serve or eat recalled frozen strawberries. These recalled products must be returned or thrown away,” the FDA said.
California Splendor has recalled certain packages of its frozen strawberries from Costco stores in California.
Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham, Oregon, issued a voluntary recall citing the “possible health risk.”
Symptoms of hepatitis A usually appear 15 to 50 days after consuming contaminated products.
“A viral infection includes fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine and pale stools,” according to the FDA. “In some cases, especially in children under the age of six, hepatitis A infection can be asymptomatic.”