Widespread Recall of Frozen Organic Strawberries After Possible Link to Hepatitis A Outbreak

A widespread recall of frozen organic strawberries has been initiated after an investigation conducted by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed a possible link between the product and a hepatitis A outbreak. California Splendor of San Diego, California, and Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham, Oregon, have both recalled certain lots of the frozen fruit, sold to retailers including Trader Joe’s, Costco, Aldi, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood and PCC Community Markets in certain states, and Trader Joe’s nationwide.[0]

Exposure to the hepatitis A virus can lead to a contagious liver disease known as hepatitis A.[1] Approximately 15 to 20 days after consuming food or water that is contaminated, a person may experience symptoms such as fatigue, abdominal discomfort, jaundice, abnormal liver test results, dark urine, and light-colored stool.[1]

The FDA and CDC investigation discovered that all five people infected had eaten the same brand of frozen organic strawberries before becoming ill.[2] Those berries were imported fresh from farms located in Baja California, Mexico, in 2022, and it’s likely the source of the outbreak.[3]

Trader Joe’s has issued a recall for their frozen Organic Tropical Fruit Blend with best by dates of 04/25/24, 05/12/24, 05/23/24, 05/30/24, and 06/07/24. “We have been alerted by our supplier of Trader Joe’s Organic Tropical Fruit Blend (SKU# 51191) that product with BEST BY dates of 04/25/24, 05/12/24, 05/23/24, 05/30/24 and 06/07/24 may have the potential to be contaminated with Hepatitis A,” Trader Joe’s said in a release. “No illnesses have been reported to date, and all potentially affected product has been removed from sale and destroyed.”[4]

The Scenic Fruit Company has temporarily stopped manufacturing and shipping its products while it cooperates with the FDA to investigate the situation.[5]

The FDA urges individuals who have recently eaten the recalled frozen organic strawberries and either have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A or believe they are showing signs of a hepatitis A virus infection to contact a healthcare provider.[1]

It is recommended that people who have purchased any of the Trader Joe’s Organic Tropical Fruit Blend products do not consume them.[6]

0. “Frozen strawberries recalled after hepatitis A infections” WJCL News Savannah, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.wjcl.com/article/frozen-strawberries-recalled-hepatitis-a-infections/43353624

1. “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

2. “Frozen strawberries sold at Costco, Trader Joe’s, recalled after hepatitis A outbreak” Iowa Public Radio, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.iowapublicradio.org/news-from-npr/2023-03-18/frozen-strawberries-sold-at-costco-trader-joes-recalled-after-hepatitis-a-outbreak

3. “Frozen fruit recall at Trader Joe’s, Aldi, Costco over hepatitis risk” Scripps News, 18 Mar. 2023, https://scrippsnews.com/stories/trader-joe-s-aldi-costco-fruit-recall-over-hepatitis

4. “Company recalls frozen fruit sold nationwide due to Hepatitis A risk” Axios, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.axios.com/2023/03/18/recall-frozen-fruit-costco-trader-joes-hepatitis-a

5. “Frozen fruit urgently recalled over fears it has been contaminated with Hepatitis A” The Mirror, 18 Mar. 2023, https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/frozen-fruit-urgently-recalled-over-29491002

6. “Trader Joe’s fruit product recalled over hepatitis fear” NewsNation Now, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.newsnationnow.com/us-news/recalls/trader-joes-fruit-product-recalled-over-hepatitis-fear/