If you shop at Trader Joe’s, the discount store Aldi, or the warehouse giant Costco, you’ll want to pay attention to a recall alert affecting these and other store chains. Two strawberry distributors have alerted consumers that their products have been recalled over their link to an outbreak of hepatitis A infections in Washington state.
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) circulated word that frozen strawberries distributed by the Scenic Fruit Company under various brand names as well as California Splendor, which distributes to Costco, were being recalled.
The names include Simply Nature Organic Strawberries; Vital Choice Organic Strawberries; Kirkland Signature Frozen Organic Strawberries; Made With Organic Strawberries; PCC Community Markets Organic Strawberries; and Trader Joe’s Organic Tropical Fruit Blend Pineapple, Bananas, Strawberries, and Mango.
Simply Nature Organic Strawberries were sold in roughly a dozen states, including Arizona, California, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Made With products were sold in Illinois and Maryland, while Vital Choice and PCC Community Markets items were available in Washington. Kirkland Signature was also found in Washington, as well as in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Utah. The Trader Joe’s product was sold nationwide. (It’s possible the products were found in other stores and states, so erring on the side of caution is best.)
The move comes after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tracked an outbreak of hepatitis A in Washington in November and December 2022. Of the five people who came down with the infection, all had consumed the same frozen strawberries, which were sourced from Baja California, Mexico. Consumers are advised to throw away or return the products.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection with symptoms ranging from fatigue to gastrointestinal issues. A vaccine is available, and according to the CDC, a post-exposure vaccine is also an option and can be effective if taken within 14 days of exposure to an infected person or contaminated food or drink. The infection usually resolves on its own, though some people may require hospitalization.