For immediate release: March 21, 2023 (23-037)
Contact: DOH Communications
Residents urged to avoid certain frozen organic strawberries and a tropical fruit blend
OLYMPIA – Several brands of frozen organic strawberries and one tropical fruit blend are being recalled following a hepatitis A outbreak that’s sickened at least five Washington residents.
Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham, Oregon has announced a recall of frozen Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberries sold at Costco, PCC Organic Frozen Strawberries sold at PCC Community Markets, Vital Choice Frozen Organic Strawberries sold online at Vital Choice Seafood & Organics, and frozen Organic Tropical Fruit Blend sold at Trader Joes. People are urged to check their freezers for these products and either throw them out or return them to the stores where they were purchased.
Click here for a full list of recalled products.
Five Washington residents developed hepatitis after eating frozen organic strawberries between Nov. 24-Dec. 27, 2022. They live in Snohomish (2), King (2) and Kittitas (1) counties and range in age from the 30s to the 60s. To date, two have been hospitalized and no one has died.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. People who get hepatitis A usually feel better within two months, however, some people can be sick for as long as six months. Learn more about hepatitis A symptoms and prevention on the Washington State Department of Health’s (DOH) website.
The most effective way to prevent hepatitis A is vaccination. People who have been fully vaccinated for hepatitis A (two doses of vaccine separated by at least 6 months) are usually immune and will not get sick even if they ate the recalled strawberries.
If you ate any of the recalled products in the previous 14 days, you may be able to receive treatment to prevent infection with hepatitis A. Contact your health care provider immediately to let them know you ate a product in the previous 14 days that was recalled because of hepatitis A.
If you are unvaccinated and ate the recalled fruit between 15-50 days ago, contact your health care provider if you develop the following symptoms:
- Low appetite
- Stomach pain
- Joint pain
- Dark urine
- Pale poop
- Jaundice (yellow color to the whites of the eyes or skin)
People with hepatitis A can spread the infection to others. The virus spreads through infected poop. You can get hepatitis A if you put something in your mouth (food, water, hands) that has infected poop on or in it, even if the item looks clean.
If you live with someone who has hepatitis A, talk to your health care provider about treatment to prevent infection.
For more information about hepatitis A, visit DOH’s webpage. For updates to this recall and the hepatitis A outbreak investigation, visit the DOH Foodborne Illness Outbreak page.
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