Frozen Fruit Recall for Hepatitis A Contamination Expands to More Stores
It's time to check your freezer.
After the frozen fruit recall linked to Costco from a few days ago, we were hoping things would quiet down for a bit. Unfortunately, if you love using frozen fruit for any of your go-to smoothies or meals, you may have cause for concern.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced another frozen fruit recall, this time of frozen strawberries and berry blends, in connection to the continuously developing outbreak of hepatitis A. Here’s what you need to know.
What Caused the Recall?
According to the announcement, the strawberries have been potentially contaminated by hepatitis A, a virus that can cause liver disease. It was discovered that the strawberries came from the same area of farms in Mexico that are the probable cause of the current hepatitis A outbreak.
Since June 13, nine people across Washington, Oregon and California have reported contracting hepatitis A in connection to the ongoing outbreak. However, the FDA reports that so far, there are no illnesses in connection to this voluntary recall.
Hepatitis A is a hardy virus, meaning that it can survive being frozen. It can also survive for hours on human hands and other surfaces. The symptoms of hepatitis A include fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine and pale stool. Symptoms can set in anywhere from 15-50 days from exposure.
How Do I Know If I Bought an Affected Product?
The affected strawberries were distributed by Willamette Valley Fruit under the brand names of Great Value and Rader Farms. More specifically, the following products have been recalled: Great Value Sliced Strawberries, Great Value Mixed Fruit, Great Value Antioxidant Blend, Rader Farms Organic Fresh Start Smoothie Blend and Rader Farms Organic Berry Trio.
These frozen strawberries have “best by” dates ranging from Dec. 2023 to Aug. 2024 and have been sold at numerous grocery stores. The stores distributing the strawberries include but are not limited to:
- Costco—Rader Farms Organic Fresh Start Smoothie Blend packages were distributed throughout Costcos in Colorado, Texas, California and Arizona from Oct. 3, 2022, to June 8, 2023.
- Walmart—Great Value products were distributed across Walmarts in 32 states from Jan. 24, 2023, to June 8, 2023.
- HEB—this recall specifically impacts Rader Farms Organic Berry Trio distributed throughout Texas HEB stores between July 18, 2022, to June 8, 2023.
- Trader Joe’s
- Vital Choice Seafood
- PCC Community Markets
Consumers can also check the lot codes of potentially affected products. For more details and for a full list of the affected lot codes, be sure to check out the official FDA site. Note that this is not an exhaustive list, and it is being consistently updated as new information arises.
What Should I Do If I Bought an Affected Product?
If you have any of these organic strawberries in your freezer, the FDA advises you to throw them away immediately or return them to the store where you purchased them for a refund.
And if you’ve consumed the strawberries in the past two weeks, and haven’t been vaccinated against hepatitis A, contact your healthcare provider to see if you need a post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). This vaccination can help prevent a hepatitis A infection if given within 14 days of consumption. If you have proof that you have already had hepatitis A or have been vaccinated, a PEP is not needed. If you have any symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
Consumers can also contact 800-518-9865 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday through Friday with any concerns or questions regarding the recalled products.