Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Frozen Strawberries Sold at Costco, Trader Joe’s and Aldi

It's time to check your freezer.

After last year’s Jif peanut butter recall that resulted in a recall of products made with Jif, we were hoping things would quiet down for a bit. Unfortunately, if you love to combine fruit or homemade jelly with your peanut butter, you may have cause for concern.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced recently that they’re investigating frozen strawberries in connection with an outbreak of hepatitis A. Here’s what you need to know.

What Caused the Investigation?

According to the announcement, the strawberries have potentially been linked to an outbreak of hepatitis A, a virus that can cause liver disease. The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began the investigation after five people in Washington State were diagnosed with the infection. Two people are currently hospitalized. In all five cases, the CDC found that the individuals had eaten frozen strawberries imported from farms in Baja Mexico in 2022. This news comes on the heels of a fresh strawberry infection last year, in which 12 people were diagnosed with hepatitis A from organic strawberries imported from Mexico.

Hepatitis A is a hardy virus, meaning that it can survive being frozen. It can also survive for hours on human hands and other surfaces. The symptoms of hepatitis A include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine and pale stool. Symptoms can set in anywhere from 15-50 days from exposure.

How Do I Know If I Bought an Affected Product?

stacks of plastic strawberry containers in a grocery storenycshooter/getty images

The affected organic strawberries were sold under the brand names California Splendor and Scenic Fruit. These frozen berries have “best by” dates that range from April to November 2024 and have been sold at numerous grocery stores. The stores distributing the fresh berries include but are not limited to:

  • Costco (especially in Los Angeles, San Diego and Hawaii)
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Aldi
  • KeHE
  • Vital Choice Seafood
  • PCC Community Markets

For more details, be sure to check out the official FDA site. Note that this is not an exhaustive list, and it is being consistently updated as new information arises.

Additionally, even if your berries aren’t affected, don’t make these mistakes with summer berries.

What Should I Do If I Bought an Affected Product?

If you have any of these organic strawberries in your freezer right now, the FDA advises you to throw them away immediately or return them to the store where you purchased them for a refund.

And if you’ve consumed the strawberries in the past two weeks, and haven’t been vaccinated against hepatitis A, contact your healthcare provider to see if you need a post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). This vaccination can help prevent a hepatitis A infection if given within 14 days of consumption. If you have proof that you have already had hepatitis A or have been vaccinated, a PEP is not needed. If you have any symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

Our Favorite Blackberry Recipes
1 / 45

Amrita Thakkar
Amrita is an Assistant Digital Editor at Taste of Home. As a writer and amateur photographer, she often ends up applying these skills to her one great love: food. She can usually be found researching global cuisines, at the farmers market, doing yoga, or looking up new places to travel to.