Certain frozen strawberries that were available at Trader Joe's, Costco and other stores shouldn't be eaten owing to a risk of hepatitis A, the US Food and Drug Administration warned consumers this week.
Some lots of Kirkland Signature organic strawberries, Trader Joe's Organic Tropical Fruit Blend and other brands were voluntarily recalled by two suppliers this week as the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigate an outbreak linked to the fruit.
An outbreak of hepatitis A in Washington state has left two people hospitalized and as many as five people infected, the FDA said in an alert on its site. The agency said the patients reported that they'd eaten frozen organic strawberries before they got sick. The infections are linked to strawberries imported from certain farms in Baja California, Mexico, the FDA said.
"Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not sell, serve, or eat recalled frozen strawberries. These recalled products should be returned or thrown away," the alert said. "If consumers purchased the recalled frozen organic strawberries and ate those berries in the last two weeks, and have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A, they should immediately consult with their healthcare professional."
Other stores that carried the frozen strawberries include Aldi and PCC Community Markets, and other brands include Made With and Simply Nature organic strawberries.
Specific details about stores, lots, best-buy dates and so on are available in the FDA's alert.
The two suppliers, California Splendor and Scenic Fruit, have also released information on the recall, as have Aldi, Costco, PCC Community Markets and Trader Joe's. They all say that hepatitis A hasn't been detected in their respective products but that the recalls were made "out of an abundance of caution." Made With didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.
The FDA said that the strain of hepatitis A found in Washington state is identical to the strain that caused an outbreak in 2022.
Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver, an organ responsible for filtering blood and other important functions. Though most people recover completely (and many people in the US are vaccinated against the virus), symptoms can last weeks to months and can cause more serious illness in some people.
Symptoms include abdominal pain, dark urine, fatigue, jaundice, nausea, pale stool, and vomiting, the FDA said. In some cases, symptoms may not be apparent, particularly in kids younger than 6.
CNET's Jessica Rendall contributed to this report.
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