Costco Recalls Berries Over Hepatitis Risk
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Costco Recalls Berries Over Hepatitis Risk

This is scary!

If you're someone who shops at Costco, then you definitely understand its appeal. The wholesale chain offers a variety of home, grocery and car products at super affordable prices.

In addition to their great stock, the stores also offer great customer service and return policy. These are just a few reasons why around three million shoppers visit Costco every day.

If you happen to be among these people, then you may want to check your freezer right away. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a recall alert for frozen berry products sold at Costco. According to the notice, the berries may be contaminated with Hepatitis A.  

The recall is specifically for the four-pound bags of the Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend sold in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, San Diego, Los Angeles and Hawaii. The best-by dates on the bags range from February 16, 2020 to May 4, 2020.

The best-by codes located in the white box on the back of the bag are as follows:

  • 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).

At this point, all of the recalled products, which were supplied to Costco by the Oregon-based Townsend Farms, have been removed from the stores. If you happen to have an affected bag of berries in your home, you should throw it out immediately or return it to the store for a refund.

Mixed berries
Pexels

This is the second recall in under a week concerning frozen berries. Popular grocery chain Kroger recalled three varieties of their Private Selection brand berries on June 7. The berries, also manufactured by Townsend Farms, tested positive for Hepatitis A.

Kroger sold the berries at nearly 2,800 stores in 35 states. The berries were also sold at other Kroger-owned stores, including Smith's, Fred Meyer and Pick 'n Save.

The recalled products are as follows:

  • Private Selection Frozen Triple Berry Medley, 48 oz (Best by: 07-07-20; UPC: 0001111079120)
  • Private Selection Frozen Triple Berry Medley, 16 oz (Best by: 06-19-20; UPC: 0001111087808)
  • Private Selection Frozen Triple Berry Medleym 16 oz (Best by: 06-19-20, 07-02-20; UPC: 0001111087809)

This is the second time in six years that Townsend Farms and Costco are caught up in a recall due to hepatitis. In March 2013, at least 162 people contracted Hepatitis A after eating the farm's Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berries purchased from Costco stores.

The outbreak affected people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wisconsin.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious viral disease that affects liver function. According to the Mayo Clinic, infection is usually caused by contaminated food or water, or by coming in close contact with a person who has the disease.

Symptoms, which include fever, nausea, fatigue, vomiting diarrhea, loss of appetite, jaundice, abdominal discomfort and joint pain, can take between 15 and 50 days after exposure to show.

Hepatitis A isn't chronic and does not cause long-term liver damage. However, in rare cases, the illness can last several months and result in acute liver failure.

If you have symptoms of Hepatitis A, you should see a doctor immediately. If you've consumed an affected product and have not been vaccinated for the Hepatitis A virus, you should also consult with a doctor.

The FDA says it is working with the manufacturer to determine what caused the contamination. They're also investigating "to determine whether there are other implicated products." For more information about this recall, visit the FDA website here.

Share this information with your family and friends so they can protect themselves.