FDA and CDC Investigating Outbreak of Hepatitis A Linked to Frozen Organic Strawberries

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are currently investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A virus infections linked to frozen organic strawberries.[0] Two suppliers, California Splendor of San Diego, California, and Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham, Oregon, have voluntarily recalled their frozen organic strawberries sold to various retailers in certain states, including Costco, Aldi, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood, PCC Community Markets, and Trader Joe’s nationwide.[1]

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease caused by exposure to the hepatitis A virus that can occur within 15 to 20 days of exposure after eating or drinking contaminated food or water, and can cause fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, abnormal liver tests, dark urine and pale stool.[2]

The FDA and CDC are urging consumers to check their freezers for the recalled frozen organic strawberries, as five people have been infected with hepatitis A after eating them, with two having been hospitalized. The affected strawberries have “best by” dates that range from April to November 2024, and a full list of the recalled strawberries is available on the FDA’s website.[3] Consumers who have purchased the products are urged to destroy or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.[4]

The FDA and CDC have identified the strain of hepatitis A causing illnesses this year as genetically identical to the strain that caused an outbreak in 2022, which was linked to fresh organic strawberries imported from the same Mexican area.[5] Trader Joe’s stores have removed and destroyed all potentially affected product.[6]

It is recommended that anyone who has eaten the recalled strawberries within the last two weeks and has not been vaccinated against hepatitis A should call their doctor for possible vaccine or other treatment to help prevent illness.

0. “5 hepatitis A outbreaks in WA state linked to frozen organic strawberries says CDC” KIRO Seattle, 19 Mar. 2023, https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/5-hepatitis-outbreaks-wa-state-linked-frozen-organic-strawberries-says-cdc/ZAGNMR6VOVBOFASUVJ7DT2BAZ4

1. “Frozen Strawberries Recalled Due to Hepatitis A Risk” CNET, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.cnet.com/health/frozen-strawberries-recalled-due-to-hepatitis-a-risk/

2. “Frozen organic strawberries recalled over possible link to hepatitis A outbreak” WPVI-TV, 18 Mar. 2023, https://6abc.com/frozen-organic-strawberries-recalled-over-possible-link-to-hepatiti/12974470

3. “Frozen strawberries sold at Costco, Trader Joe’s and Aldi recalled after hepatitis A infections” ABC15 Arizona in Phoenix, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.abc15.com/news/national/frozen-strawberries-sold-at-costco-trader-joes-and-aldi-recalled-after-hepatitis-a-infections

4. “Frozen Fruit Recalled at Costco and Trader Joe’s Stores Due to Risk of Hepatitis A Outbreak” PEOPLE, 19 Mar. 2023, https://people.com/food/frozen-fruit-recalled-at-costco-trader-joes-stores-due-to-risk-of-hepatitis-a-contamination/

5. “FDA recalls frozen organic strawberries sold at Trader Joe’s and Costco” New York Post , 19 Mar. 2023, https://nypost.com/2023/03/19/fda-recalls-frozen-organic-strawberries-sold-at-trader-joes-and-costco/

6. “Frozen fruit recalled over risk of Hepatitis A contamination” Fox Business, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/frozen-fruit-recalled-risk-hepatitis-a-contamination