Canada’s Public Health Agency is warning consumers not to eat Nature’s Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend frozen fruit sold at Costco due to possible Hepatitis A risk.
The agency says they are collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Hepatitis A infections in three provinces linked to the product.
In response to the outbreak, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recalled the frozen food product. The item under the recall order is sold exclusively at Costco locations in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The agency is advising people that suspect they have been exposed to the recalled product, or are displaying symptoms consistent for Hepatitis A, to see their health care provider immediately. Vaccination can prevent the onset of symptoms if given within two weeks of exposure.
Currently, there are 12 cases of Hepatitis A in three provinces related to this outbreak: Ontario (9), Quebec (2), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). Individuals became sick in February and March of this year. Three cases have been hospitalized.
The CFIA says the affected product was sold in 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) packages with best before dates up to and including March 16, 2018, with the UPC code 8 73668 00179 1. The agency is urging anyone who has the product to throw it out, or return it.
People infected with Hepatitis A can have a wide range of symptoms. Some do not get sick at all, though they can still spread the infection to others. Others may experience symptoms including fatigue and jaundice.
Most people with Hepatitis A develop the following symptoms two to seven weeks after being infected with the virus:
- loss of appetite
- stomach cramps
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- dark urine
Symptoms are usually mild, and the illness usually lasts one to two weeks. Although severe cases can last several months, most people recover without treatment. It is rare for healthy adults to die from Hepatitis A, and the illness does not become chronic.
There is an approved vaccine for Hepatitis A. If you are immune to the Hepatitis A (because you already had the virus or you have been vaccinated), this will last your entire life.