Frozen organic strawberries sold at several stores, including Costco and Aldi, and in frozen fruit mix at Trader Joe’s are being recalled after being linked to an outbreak of hepatitis A infections in Washington state.
The US Food and Drug Administration is also warning people not to eat, sell or serve certain brands of frozen organic strawberries after five people were infected with hepatitis A after eating them. Two people were hospitalized.
Investigators from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in all five cases, the sick people had eaten frozen strawberries sold by a common supplier. Strawberries used by this supplier were imported from select farms in Baja California, Mexico in 2022.
The strain of hepatitis A causing disease this year is genetically identical to the strain that caused an outbreak of hepatitis A last year. This outbreak was linked to fresh organic strawberries imported from Mexico and sold at various retailers in the United States.
Hepatitis A is a resistant virus that survives freezing. It persists for hours on human hands and for days on contaminated surfaces.
In response to the investigation, two vendors have now recalled frozen organic strawberries: California Splendor of San Diego, California has recalled certain lots of 4-pound bags of Kirkland brand frozen strawberries from Costco stores in California.
Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham, Oregon voluntarily recalled frozen organic strawberries sold at Costco, Aldi, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood and PCC Community Markets in some states and at Trader Joe’s nationwide. At Trader Joe’s, strawberries have been included in their organic tropical fruit mix.
The bags of strawberries have expiration dates ranging from April to November 2024. A complete list of recalled strawberries is available on the FDA website.
The CDC and FDA advise that if you have recalled strawberries in your freezer, you should throw them out or return them to the store for a refund.
The hepatitis A virus is a virus that attacks the liver. People get sick 15 to 50 days after eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine and pale stools. Some infections, especially in children under 6, may not cause symptoms