Frozen Berries Sold at Costco, Kroger Recalled Due to Hepatitis Contamination

consumer
June 14, 2019Jun 14, 2019

The frozen berry recall that impacted frozen berries sold under the Kroger label has extended to Costco. The frozen berries are potentially contaminated with hepatitis A. 

The frozen berry mixes that included the suspect blackberries were sold nationwide at retailers including Costco and Kroger. According to the FDA and CDC, there have been no reported illnesses due to this recall.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration found hepatitis A in a sample. This is a serious issue.

The Kroger recall, which came first,  and includes their Private Selection Frozen Triple Berry Medley and Private Selection Frozen Blackberries. Kroger is recalling three private-label branded products sold at all of its nearly 2,800 stores in 35 states. The grocery chain operates stores under more than 20 names, including Smith's, Fred Meyer, Harris Teeter, and Pick 'n Save.

These are the recalled berries: 

  • 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 Blackberries, 16 oz. (Best By: 06-19-20, 07-02-20; UPC: 0001111087809)

The supermarket chain said it is printing messages on register receipt tapes, and it is calling customers to alert those who may be storing the product with a shelf life of two years in their freezers.

The FDA is working with the manufacturer, Townsend Farms, to see if any additional products might be contaminated with the virus. Hepatitis A cause liver disease.

Later, Costco was added to the recall. Costco’s Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend was potentially affected by the contamination. Per Townsend Farms, these berries were only sold in California and Hawaii. The recall codes for this product can be found in the white box on the back of the 4-lb. bag and 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)

Americans who keep frozen fruit for smoothies should check their freezers for the Kroger-branded or Costco berries. The virus can cause a liver infection that may not be apparent but can later lead to serious illness.

Those who've consumed the product and who have not been vaccinated for the hepatitis A virus, or HAV, should consult with a doctor, the FDA said.

HAV is spread when someone ingests the virus, usually through person-to-person contact or from eating contaminated food or drink. Food can be contamination with HAV while being grown, harvested, processed, handled, or even after cooking.