Costco, Trader Joe’s frozen fruit recalled due to hepatitis A risk

Scenic Fruit Company, whose foods are sold at Trader Joe’s and some Costco stores, among others, is recalling various frozen fruit products due to a risk of hepatitis A contamination.

According to a company announcement the Food and Drug Administration shared on Friday, affected products include frozen organic strawberries sold under the Kirkland Signature brand at Costco locations in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington, as well as the Trader Joe’s frozen “Organic Tropical Fruit Mix” sold nationwide.

Scenic Fruit Company’s frozen strawberries were also on the shelves of select Aldi stores, PCC Community Markets in Seattle, and distributed by Vital Choice Seafood, a home delivery service. These items – sold under the Vital Choice, PCC Community Markets, Made With and Simply Nature brands – are also being recalled.

All names and expiration dates of potentially contaminated products are listed on the FDA website.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed three cases of hepatitis A, and two other suspects, among people in Washington who said they ate frozen strawberries. Two of these patients required hospitalization, but no deaths were reported.

“Although hepatitis A has not been detected in this product, as a precaution, consumers should stop consuming the product and return it to their local store for a refund,” said Scenic Fruit Company, based in the USA. Oregon. announcement.

Trader Joe’s said in an online statement Friday that “no illnesses have been reported to date and all potentially affected products have been removed from sale and destroyed.”

Scenic Fruit Company said that it has suspended production and distribution of the products in question while it investigates the matter with the FDA.

A spokesperson for the company told NBC News that the frozen strawberries came from its supplier, California Splendor, which announced Thursday it was recalling certain bags of Kirkland Signature frozen organic strawberries sold at select Costco stores in California and Hawaii. .

The case is still ongoing. Based on previous investigations of this nature, it likely originated on a farm in Mexico,” Scenic Fruit Company said in a statement, referring to the source of hepatitis A. to the FDA and the CDC.

The FDA said Friday that the recalled strawberries were imported from farms in Baja California, Mexico. The hepatitis A strain causing the illnesses this year is genetically identical to the strain that caused an outbreak linked to Baja California strawberries last year, the agency said.

Hepatitis A infections can lead to liver disease, with symptoms usually appearing two to seven weeks after an infection, according to the CDC. People with mild illness may have fever, fatigue, abdominal or joint pain, diarrhea, jaundice, or dark urine.

Symptoms usually last less than two months, but some people may be sick for six months.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious virus and can be spread by consuming food or drink handled by an infected person. According to the CDC, foods can be contaminated with hepatitis A at any time during growing, harvesting, processing, or handling.

People with HIV or chronic liver disease, including hepatitis B and hepatitis C, are at higher risk of liver damage or liver failure if they get hepatitis A.

A shot of hepatitis A vaccine can help prevent illness if given within two weeks of exposure to contaminated food. There is no designated treatment for the condition, although symptoms can be alleviated with rest, adequate diet, and fluids.

Scenic Fruit Company said Thursday that people who may have consumed the recalled products should consult a healthcare professional or their local health department to decide if it is appropriate to get vaccinated. People with symptoms should seek medical attention immediately, the company added.

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