As of June 12, 2023, a total of 9 outbreak-associated cases of hepatitis A have been reported from 3 states – Washington, Oregon and California.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from November 24, 2022, to April 12, 2023. Ill people range in age from 38 to 64 years, with a median age of 56 years. Thirty-three percent of ill people are female. Of 9 people with available information, 3 (33%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicate that frozen organic strawberries, imported fresh from certain farms located in Baja California, Mexico in 2022, are the likely source of this outbreak. The hepatitis A virus strain causing illnesses in this outbreak is genetically identical to the strain that caused a foodborne hepatitis A outbreak in 2022, which was linked to fresh organic strawberries imported from Baja California, Mexico, and sold at various retailers.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the 2 to 7 weeks before they became ill. Of people who were interviewed, 9/9 (100%) reported eating frozen organic strawberries. This proportion was significantly higher than results from a survey of healthy people in which 24% reported eating frozen berries in the week before they were interviewed.

In response to this investigation, California Splendor, Inc. of San Diego, California voluntarily recalled certain lots of 4-lb. bags of Kirkland Signature Frozen Organic Whole Strawberries that were sold at Costco stores in Los Angeles, California; Hawaii; and two San Diego, California business centers. The lots subject to this recall include: 140962-08, 142222-23, 142792-54, 142862-57, 142912-59, 142162-20, 142202-21, 142782-53, 142852-56, 142902-58, 142212-22, 142232-24, 142842-55.

In response to this investigation, Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham, Oregon voluntarily recalled frozen organic strawberries, sold to Costco, Trader Joe’s, Aldi, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood, and PCC Community Markets in certain states. Products subject to this recall include:

Brand NameProduct NameNet Wt.UPCBest By Date, Best If Use Date, Best Before DateDistributed in States
Simply NatureOrganic Strawberries24 oz.40991002562226/14/2024Arizona,
Arkansas,
California,
Illinois,
Iowa,
Michigan,
Minnesota,
Missouri,
North Dakota,
Ohio,
South Dakota,
Wisconsin
Vital ChoiceOrganic Strawberries16 oz.8342970050245/20/2024Washington
Kirkland SignatureOrganic Strawberries4 lbs.9661914040410/8/2024Alaska,
Idaho,
Montana,
Oregon,
Utah,
Washington
Made WithOrganic Strawberries10 oz.81434302139011/20/2024Illinois,
Maryland
PCC Community MarketsOrganic Strawberries32 oz.2282710946929/10/2024Washington
Trader Joe’sOrganic Tropical Fruit Blend Pineapple, Bananas, Strawberries & Mango16 oz.0051191904/25/24,
05/12/24,
05/23/24,
05/30/24,
06/07/24
Nationwide

On March 17, 2023, a retailer, Meijer, also issued press to voluntarily recall Made-With brand frozen organic strawberries from certain market store locations.

In response to this investigation, on June 7, 2023, Wawona Frozen Foods of Clovis, California, initiated a voluntary recallof year-old packages of Wawona brand Organic DayBreak Blend 4-lb. bags that were distributed to Costco Wholesale stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, Utah, and Washington from April 15, 2022, to June 26, 2022, with “Use By” dates of 9/23/2023, 9/29/2023, 9/30/2023, and 10/18/2023:

Best If Used By 09/23/2023Best If Used By 09/29/2023Best If Used By 09/30/2023Best If Used By 10/18/2023
Affected Lot Codes:Affected Lot Codes:Affected Lot Codes:Affected Lot Codes:
20082D0420088D0420089D0920108D04
20082D0520088D0520089D1020108D05
20082D0620088D0620089D1120108D06
20082D0720088D0720089D1220108D07
20082D0820088D0820108D08
20088D09
20088D10
20088D11
20088D12

FDA’s investigation is ongoing; additional products might be included in the future.

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Photo of Drew Falkenstein Drew Falkenstein

Drew Falkenstein joined Marler Clark in January, 2004 and has concentrated his practice in representing victims of foodborne illness. He has litigated nationwide against some of the biggest food corporations in the world, including Dole, Kellogg’s, and McDonald’s.  He has worked on landmark…

Drew Falkenstein joined Marler Clark in January, 2004 and has concentrated his practice in representing victims of foodborne illness. He has litigated nationwide against some of the biggest food corporations in the world, including Dole, Kellogg’s, and McDonald’s.  He has worked on landmark cases that have helped shape food safety policy, HACCP protocol, and consumer rights, such as the E. coli outbreak in fresh spinach in 2006 and the 2008 Peanut Corporation of America outbreak of Salmonella. A frequent speaker for the not-for-profit organization Outbreak, Inc, Mr. Falkenstein travels the country to address public and environmental health organizations as well as food safety meetings and annual educational conferences.  He speaks on the intersection of law and public health, and addresses companies on how to prevent food borne illness outbreaks.