FDA Alert: Frozen Strawberries Recalled Across US After Hepatitis Reports

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Jun 19, 2023 - 12:30 AM

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week expanded a recall of frozen strawberries due to a potential contamination of hepatitis A, according to an agency news release.

Product package label of recalled strawberries by Willamette Valley Fruit Co. (FDA)

On Monday, the Willamette Valley Fruit Company based in Oregon announced the recall of frozen strawberries that are sold at Walmart, Costco, and HEB retail stores under the brand names Rader Farms Organic at Costco and HEB as well as Great Value at Walmart, the FDA notice said. The strawberries were grown in Mexico, the agency added.

The FDA notice further said that Walmart locations across the United States sold the Great Value strawberries, while the impacted products were sold at Costco stores in Colorado, Texas, Arizona, and California between Oct. 3, 2022, and June 8, 2023. A list of products, lot numbers, and best by dates is available on the FDA’s recall website.

Hepatitis A, a contagious liver disease that results from exposure to the hepatitis A virus, can “range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious illness lasting several months,” the FDA said.  A common vector for the virus is via contaminated food, officials say.

Hepatitis A disease occurs between 15 and 50 days of exposure, officials also said. The symptoms include jaundice—a yellowing of the skin and eyes—as well as pale stool, abnormal liver tests, abdominal pain, fatigue, and dark urine.

“In rare cases, particularly consumers who have a pre-existing severe illness or are immune compromised, hepatitis A infection can progress to liver failure … persons who may have consumed affected product should consult with their health care professional or local health department to determine if a vaccination is appropriate, and consumers with symptoms of Hepatitis A should contact their health care professionals or the local health department immediately,” the FDA said.

But the notice said that no illnesses have been associated with the recalled strawberries so far.

A building on the campus of the Walmart Home Office is pictured in Bentonville, Ark., on April 19, 2023. (Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo)

The FDA called on consumers not to eat the frozen strawberries. “Consumers are urged to check their freezers for the recalled product, not to consume it and either discard the product or return it to the store for a refund,” the agency said.

An FDA investigation has traced hepatitis A infections from strawberries that were imported from Mexico’s Baja California state, reporting five linked cases of the illness in March. The strain of hepatitis A in the cases was identical to the one that cause an outbreak of infections in 2022, according to the FDA.

In March of this year, Wawona Frozen Foods, California Splendor, Scenic Fruit recalled frozen strawberries sold under multiple brands, including PCC Community Markets, and Trader Joe’s, Kirkland Signature, Simply Nature, Vital Choice, Made With, and Wawona, the FDA said.

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