As part of an ongoing investigation into a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A infections, the FDA has identified additional brands of frozen strawberries that could be contaminated. Five new products have been recalled.
The new findings include frozen strawberry products sold at Walmart, Costco and HEB stores under the Great Value and Rader Farms brands and distributed by Willamette Valley Fruit. The company has recalled the implicated products.
The outbreak has sickened nine people across three states as of June 13. Three people have been so sick they required hospitalization. No deaths have been reported. Sick people live in Washington, Oregon and California.
Great Value products subject to the recall are frozen mixed fruit in 4-pound bags, sliced strawberries in 4-pound bags, and antioxidant fruit blend in 2-pound bags.
The Great Value products were sold in Walmart stores in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Rader Farms products subject to recall are organic Fresh Start smoothie blend in 48-ounce bags sold at Costco stores and organic berry trio in 3-pound bags sold at HEB stores.
Rader Farms organic Fresh Start smoothie bend was sold at Costco stores in Colorado, Texas, California and Arizona. Rader Farms organic berry trio was sold at HEB stores in Texas.
There have been multiple recalls previously posted in relation to the outbreak. All of the recalls involve frozen strawberries from the same growing region in Mexico.
Previous recalls include Wawona Frozen Foods products distributed as Organic DayBreak Blend sold in Costco Wholesale stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, Utah, and Washington; California Splendor supplied products sold at Costco stores in Los Angeles and Hawaii, and to two San Diego business centers; Scenic Fruit supplied products sold in Costco, Aldi, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood, and PCC Community Markets in specific states; and to Trader Joe’s nationwide. The retailer Meijer also issued a recall of certain frozen strawberry products in relation to the outbreak.
“This is not an exhaustive list of products or stores,” according to the Food and Drug Administration’s update. “FDA is continuing to work with the firms to identify potential additional product information.”
For a complete list of products recalled so far, plus product photos, please click here.
About hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable, liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV).
Anyone who has eaten frozen strawberries and developed symptoms of hepatitis A should contact their health care providers and tell them of their potential exposure to the virus. Specific tests are required to diagnose hepatitis A infections because they can mimic other illnesses.
Not everyone with hepatitis A has symptoms. Adults are more likely to have symptoms than children. If symptoms develop, they usually appear two to seven weeks, at an average of 28-30 days, after infection. Symptoms usually last less than two months, although some people can be ill for as long as six months.
If symptoms develop, they can include yellow skin or eyes, not wanting to eat, upset stomach throwing up, stomach pain, fever, dark urine or light-colored stools, diarrhea, joint pain, feeling tired.
Even if no symptoms are present people can still spread the infection. In addition, a person can transmit hepatitis A to others up to two weeks before symptoms appear.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News,click here)