In 2022, some brands of organic strawberries were recalled after being linked to a hepatitis A outbreak. Now some people are worried there might be a similar recall this year.
Online search interest in “frozen fruit recall” is at a five-year high, and a tweet viewed more than 135,000 times warned of a recall of frozen organic strawberries.
Is there a recall on frozen organic strawberries?
Yes, there is a recall on frozen organic strawberries due to a hepatitis A outbreak.
WHAT WE FOUND
Some frozen organic strawberry products sold in certain states, plus a frozen organic fruit blend sold nationwide through Trader Joe’s, have been recalled, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on March 16. The products are recalled because of a recent hepatitis A outbreak.
Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver infection caused by the highly contagious hepatitis A virus (HAV). The virus is spread when someone unknowingly ingests it through contact with an infected person or by eating contaminated food or drink, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The FDA says Scenic Fruit Company is recalling frozen organic strawberries sold to Costco, Aldi, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood, PCC Community Markets and frozen organic tropical blend sold to Trader Joe’s due to an outbreak of hepatitis A illnesses.
Additionally, California Splendor, Inc.is recalling certain 4-lb. bags of Kirkland Signature Frozen Organic Strawberries that were sold at Costco stores in Los Angeles, Hawaii and two San Diego business centers, the FDA says.
The recalled products are:
Simply Nature Organic Strawberries 24 oz., best by 6/14/2024, UPC 4099100256222, distributed in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin
Vital Choice Organic Strawberries 16 oz., best by 5/20/2024, UPC 834297005024, distributed in Washington state
Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberries 4 lbs., best by 10/8/2024, UPC 96619140404, distributed in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington state
Made With Organic Strawberries 10 oz., best by 11/20/2024, UPC 814343021390, distributed in Illinois, Maryland
PCC Community Markets Organic Strawberries 32 oz., best by 10/29/2024, UPC 22827109469, distributed in Washington state
Certain bags of Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberries 4 lbs. sold in California and Hawaii (see below for lot numbers)
Trader Joe’s Organic Tropical Fruit Blend 16 oz., UPC 00511919, best by: 04/25/24, 05/12/24, 05/23/24, 05/30/24, 06/07/24
California Splendor, Inc. recalled the following batches of Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberries sold in California and Hawaii. You can find the recalled batches by referencing the “lot numbers” on the back of the bag below the nutrition facts and just above the “best if used by” date:
The CDC says there are five outbreak-associated cases of hepatitis A in Washington state, two of which led to hospitalization. As of March 24, 2023, the CDC has not confirmed any related cases outside of Washington. The patients became ill between late November 2022 and late December 2022.
All five patients reported eating organic frozen strawberries.
The FDA says hepatitis A hasn’t been detected on the products themselves, but consumers should stop eating the recalled strawberries “out of an abundance of caution.” All affected products should already be removed from sale. The CDC says you should contact your local health department if you’ve eaten the recalled strawberries within the last 14 days and you haven’t been vaccinated for hepatitis A.
“Cooking will kill hepatitis A, but it’s not a good idea to try to salvage your berries by cooking them when you know there’s a chance that they could be contaminated,” James E. Rogers, Ph.D., director of food safety testing and research at Consumer Reports, said in an article. Consumer Reports recommends either throwing the recalled strawberries away or returning them to the store you bought them from for a refund.
The CDC says it’s investigating strawberries that were imported from certain farms located in Baja California, Mexico in 2022, which it believes to be the source of the hepatitis A outbreak. Last year, there was another hepatitis A recall of organic strawberries linked to farms in Baja California. The CDC suggests the two outbreaks may be linked.
“The hepatitis A virus strain causing illnesses in this outbreak is genetically identical to the strain that caused a foodborne hepatitis A outbreak in 2022, which was linked to fresh organic strawberries imported from Baja California, Mexico, and sold at various retailers,” the CDC reported.