Several brands of frozen organic strawberries and one tropical fruit blend are being recalled following a hepatitis A outbreak that has sickened at least five Washington residents.
Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham, Ore. 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 Joe’s. 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.
Five Washington residents developed hepatitis after eating frozen organic strawberries between Nov. 24, 2022 and Dec. 27, 2022. Two victims live in Snohomish County, two live in King County, and one in Kittitas County and range in age from their 30’s to 60’rs. 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, according to the Dept. of Health. 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 fruit.
If you are unvaccinated and ate the recalled fruit between 15-50 days ago, the Dept. of Health says you should 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. One can get hepatitis A if they put something in your mouth (food, water, hands) that has infected poop on or in it, even if the item looks clean.