Frozen Fruit At Trader Joe's And Other Stores Recalled Over Hepatitis A

Most food recalls in the U.S. result from unsurprising origins. In 2021, for example, undeclared allergens, foreign objects, and foodborne pathogens listeria, salmonella, and E. coli accounted for just over 86% of all food recalls, based on data sourced from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

Hepatitis A is statistically rarer as a reason for food recalls, but such recalls do occur, with outbreaks most often caused by infected individuals somewhere in the food chain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Last June, for example, a Hepatitis outbreak stemming from organic strawberries originally sourced from Baja California caused 13 people to be hospitalized, and numerous food items to be recalled, per an investigative report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC. Another notable instance occurred in December 2022 when frozen raspberries originally harvested in Chile were red-flagged for Hepatitis A concerns by the FDA, resulting in the recall of over 1,200 cases bearing the James Farm label, per CBS News.

The most recent instance of a Hepatitis A related outbreak with associated food recalls, however, happened just this week, when several major supermarket retailers — including Trader Joe's, Costco, and Aldi — were forced to recall organic strawberries or a product in which they were used, the FDA reported. In the case of Trader Joe's, the recalled product was an Organic Tropical Fruit Blend featuring several fruits, including organic strawberries.

What to know about the recent recall

To date, five people have become ill, and two hospitalized in Washington state as a result of the strawberries, according to the CDC. Like several previous cases of Hepatitis A-infected berries, the origin is foreign — in this instance Baja California, Mexico, per CNN Health. In fact, this outbreak is genetically linked to the one last summer. The FDA is investigating the recalled strawberries in partnership with the CDC and others, and it has published an outbreak advisory related to that investigation. Trader Joe's Organic Tropical Fruit Blend was the only product other than frozen organic strawberries that was recalled, and that product is distributed nationwide. The organic strawberries were distributed regionally, with the states affected dependent upon individual brand names.

The recall affects several notable brand names, including Kirkland Signature (96619140404), Made With (814343021390), PCC Community Markets (22827109469), Simply Nature (4099100256222), and Vital Choice (834297005024), as well as Trader Joe's (00511919). The UPCs for the recalled products are listed next to each respective brand name, per the FDA. All brands sourced the strawberries through the Oregon-based Scenic Fruit Company.

If you have bought any of these products, do not eat them. Throw them away or return them. Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease, and according to the CDC, it is contagious. If you believe you are suffering from outbreak-related symptoms, the FDA recommends seeking immediate medical advice.