A voluntary recall of frozen strawberries has been expanded after the Food and Drug Administration linked nine retailers to nine cases of hepatitis A that date back last year.
On Monday, Willamette Valley Fruit Company of Salem, Ore., announced the recall of frozen strawberries, which are sold at Walmart, Costco and HEB stores under the brand name Walmart and Radar Farms Organic at Costco and HEB.
Since November, nine people have been sickened and three people have been hospitalized in Washington state, California and Oregon. The last known cases began in April, the FDA said.
“Consumers, restaurants and retailers should not sell, serve or eat the recalled frozen strawberries,” the FDA said Tuesday. “These recalled products should be thrown away.”
The FDA notes that the products are sold nationwide and have a long shelf life and urges consumers to check their freezers and dispose of any found.
The affected products have so-called “best by” dates — the latest when they are recommended for use — that range from September 23, 2023, to November 20, 2024. The products can be found at fda.gov.
An FDA investigation has detected hepatitis A infection in frozen organic strawberries imported from Baja California, Mexico, and reported the first five cases of hepatitis A linked to them in March. In those cases, the hepatitis A strain was genetically identical to the one that caused A. Hepatitis A infection outbreak in 2022Which was also infused with fresh organic strawberries imported from Baja California, Mexico.
In March, Wawona Frozen Foods, California Splendor and Scenic Fruit voluntarily recalled frozen strawberries they sold under the Wawona, Kirkland Signature, Simply Nature, Vital Choice, Made With, PCC Community Markets and Trader Joe’s brands. They were sold at Costco, Aldi, Meijer, and other retailers.
The FDA said that people usually become ill with hepatitis A within 15 to 50 days after eating contaminated food. Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine and pale stools.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges people who believe they may have eaten these recalled frozen organic strawberries within the past two weeks and get vaccinated against hepatitis A to contact their health care provider. Not installed. Even after exposure, preventive treatment can help avoid disease.