Costco recalls frozen berries over possible Hepatitis A contamination

  • Townsend Farms Inc. notified Costco following a recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration test that indicated domestic conventional frozen blackberries manufactured by the company may be contaminated with Hepatitis A. The blackberries were used to manufacture the Kirkland Signatures Three Berry Blend product, which also contains raspberries and blueberries. (FDA/Special to West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — Costco shoppers might want to check their freezers following a recall of frozen berries due to possible Hepatitis A contamination.

Townsend Farms Inc. notified Costco following a recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration test that indicated domestic conventional frozen blackberries manufactured by the company may be contaminated with Hepatitis A. The blackberries were used to manufacture the Kirkland Signatures Three Berry Blend product, which also contains raspberries and blueberries.

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The four-pound bag of frozen berries was sold only in San Diego and Los Angeles in California and across Hawaii, according to a recall alert posted Tuesday on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration site. “Best by” dates are from Feb. 16, 2020, to May 4, 2020.

“No product manufactured for Costco by Townsend Farms has tested positive for Hepatitis A,” the alert reads. “Costco has no product in its current inventory. Costco has been notifying its members about the potential health risk.”

The FDA advises the public to not eat any of the recalled frozen product. However, if the frozen berries have already been consumed, the FDA recommends that consumers consult with their doctors if they have not been vaccinated for Hepatitis A virus (HAV).

According to the FDA and CDC, no cases of Hepatitis A linked to the consumption of the Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend have been reported.

Hepatitis A virus can result in a liver infection that may be inapparent. However, when symptoms occur, they can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.

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It is spread when someone ingests the virus, usually through person-to-person contact or from eating contaminated food or drink.

Hepatitis A can have a long incubation period and can have serious health consequences for some people, especially those who are immune-compromised. People infected with HAV may not have symptoms, which may include fever, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes (known as jaundice), dark urine, and pale stool, until 15-50 days after exposure.

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