Two Hospitalized, Seven Sickened in Recent Outbreak
By Staff Writer
On April 13, 2023, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a recall of frozen organic strawberries sold under various brand names due to potential contamination with the hepatitis A virus. The recall was initiated by California Splendor and Scenic Fruit, both of whom supplied the frozen strawberries to multiple retailers across the US.
California Splendor supplied the recalled product to Costco stores in Los Angeles and Hawaii and two San Diego business centers. Scenic Fruit supplied the recalled product to Costco, Aldi, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood, and PCC Community Markets in specific states, and to Trader Joe’s nationwide. The recall also included the Made-With brand of frozen organic strawberries sold at Meijer stores in certain market locations.
Consumers, restaurants, and retailers are advised not to sell, serve, or eat the recalled frozen strawberries. The recalled products should be returned or thrown away immediately. Symptoms of hepatitis A virus infection include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine, and pale stool. In some instances, particularly in children under the age of six, hepatitis A infection may be asymptomatic.
If consumers purchased the recalled frozen organic strawberries and ate those berries in the last two weeks, and have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A, they should immediately consult with their healthcare professional to determine whether post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is needed.
PEP is recommended for unvaccinated people who have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus in the last two weeks because vaccination can prevent a hepatitis A virus infection if given within 14 days of exposure. Those with evidence of previous hepatitis A vaccination or previous hepatitis A virus infection do not require PEP.
Consumers who experience symptoms of hepatitis A virus infection after eating the recalled frozen organic strawberries or believe that they have eaten these strawberries in the last two weeks should contact their healthcare provider. The FDA is continuing to work with the firms to identify potential additional product information.
Foodborne illness is a serious public health concern, and recalls are an essential tool for preventing the spread of contamination. Consumers are advised to follow all product recall notices and take appropriate action to protect their health and safety.