Sick Count Increased to Ten in Frozen Strawberries Hepatitis A Outbreak

Number of Victims Updated in Frozen Strawberries Hepatitis A Outbreak with Identification of Hawaii Victim

            In late 2022, a multistate Hepatitis A outbreak was identified, linked to frozen strawberries distributed nationwide. Initially, the count by state was Washington (6), California (2), and Oregon (1). Now, someone has fallen sick in Hawaii, upping the total count to ten people who have become ill.

            The dates of illness range from November 24, 2022 to June 4, 2023. Four out of the ten were hospitalized, with a wide age range of 38 to 64. Thanks to epidemiological and traceback evidence, health officials were able to identify the source of the outbreak. The culprit was frozen strawberries produced in “certain farms” in Baja, California in Mexico.

            According to the Food Poisoning Bulletin, California Splendor is recalling Kirkland Signature Frozen Organic Whole Strawberries in 4 pound packages that were sold at Costco stores in Los Angeles, Hawaii, and two San Diego business centers. The lot numbers of this recalled product are 140962-08, 142222-23, 142792-54, 142862-57, 142912-59, 142162-20, 142202-21, 142782-53, 142852-56, 142902-58, 142212-22, 142232-24, and 142842-55.

Hepatitis A: What Consumers Need to Know

            What is Hepatitis A, and how can it be identified? Hepatitis A is a contagious infection that resides in a person’s liver, and in rare cases, can cause liver failure. A person can become ill with this infection through contaminated food and drink, or after coming in close contact with someone close to them who is ill.

It can take up to fifty days to display symptoms of the illness, making it difficult to identify the source of their illness. Thankfully, this illness is completely vaccine-preventable, so if possible, it may be prudent to receive the vaccine. Either way, it is important that if a person experiences symptoms and has consumed any of these products that they contact their local health provider immediately.

Talking about this issue, national food poisoning lawyer Tony Coveny said, “This illness may not be a serious health issue for the average adult, but for those who are older, immunocompromised, or pregnant, it can be a serious issue. It is important to receive the proper tests and care so your local Health Department can be alerted, and we can prevent any further cases.”

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