Frozen triple berry mixes sold under the Private Selection brand at Kroger and the Kirkland brand at Costco stores may be contaminated with Hepatitis A. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public health alert about the berries. Consumers who have purchased these berries should not eat them as Hepatitis A can cause serious illness. Consumers who have eaten the affected products should see their physicians to see if a vaccination is necessary.
Hepatitis A, an extremely contagious virus, causes liver disease. People who are infected are contagious whether or not they have symptoms which include. fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine and pale stools. Vaccination can prevent symptoms if it is administered within two weeks of exposure.
This isn’t the first time frozen berries have posed a Hepatitis A risk.
In 2016, 143 people were sickened in a nine-state Hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen strawberries. Some of the contaminated berries were distributed to Tropical Smoothie Café locations where some of the case-patients contracted Hepatitis A infections.
And, in 2013, Townsend Farms frozen berry mixes were linked to a 10-state outbreak that sickened 162 people. That outbreak was linked to contaminated pomegranate seeds.
In November 2018, the FDA began an 18-month sampling program to detect viruses in frozen berries. It isn’t clear if this program is how the contamination of the Townsend blackberries used in the Kroger and Costco triple berry mixes was detected. The FDA is continuing to investigate whether other products may be contaminated.
Berry Products that Pose a Hepatitis A Risk
At Kroger, which issued a recall on June 7, 2019, the affected products are:
- Private Selection Frozen Triple Berry Medley, 48 oz, with “best by” date 07-07-20; and UPC: 0001111079120
- Private Selection Frozen Triple Berry Medley, 16 oz, with “best by” date 06-19-20; and UPC: 0001111087808
- Private Selection Frozen Blackberries, 16 oz, with “best by” dates 06-19-20, 07-02-20; and UPC: 000111108780)
At Costco, the affected products, are 4-pound bags of Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend with the following “Best By codes:”
- FEB1620,(A),(B),(C),(D),(E),(F),(G), or (H);
- FEB1820,(A),(B),(C),or (D);
- FEB2920,(A),(B),(C),or (D);
- MAR0120,(A),(B),(C),or (D);
- APR1920,(B),(C), or (D);
- APR2020(A),(B),(C),(D),(E), or (F);
- APR2720(A),(B),(C),(D),(E),(F),(G), or (H);
- APR2820(A),(B),(C),(D),(E),(F),(G), or (H);
- MAY0220(A),(B),(C),(D),(E),(F),(G), or (H);
- MAY0420 (H)
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