Potential Hepatitis Contamination Prompts Walmart to Recall Great Value Frozen Fruit, FDA
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) reported on June 13 that Willamette Valley Fruit Co., located in Salem, Oregon, voluntarily initiated a recall of various frozen fruit products. The recall impacts Walmart’s in-house brand, Great Value, specifically the Great Value Sliced Strawberries, Great Value Mixed Fruit in 64-ounce plastic bags, and Great Value Antioxidant Blend in 40-ounce plastic bags.
The concerned items were distributed across 32 states from January 24 to June 8, 2023. The FDA’s notice includes a detailed list of lot numbers and best-by dates for easy identification of the affected items.
The recall also extends beyond Walmart, with other retail chains also pulling products from their inventory. Costco stores are recalling certain batches of Rader Farms Fresh Start Smoothie Blend, sold in 48-ounce plastic bags containing six 8-ounce plastic pouches. These products were available in stores located in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Texas from October 3, 2022, to June 8, 2023.
Additionally, the recall impacts Rader Farms Organic Berry Trio, packed in a 3-pound plastic bag and sold in Texas-based HEB stores from July 18, 2022, to June 8, 2023. The agency’s notice includes a comprehensive list of lot numbers and best-by dates for both Costco and HEB products included in the recall. The company reiterates that the recall only affects the listed lot numbers and purchase dates.
The frozen fruit items were withdrawn due to potential contamination with hepatitis A.
A woman clutches her abdomen. Africa Studio/Shutterstock Willamette Valley Fruit Co. decided to recall the frozen fruit products after discovering a potential hepatitis A contamination in the Mexican-grown strawberries used in the blends. According to the FDA, hepatitis A is an infectious liver disease caused by a virus that can be transmitted through food. Infected individuals may experience a short illness lasting a few weeks or suffer a more severe, prolonged disease.
The first symptoms, including “fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, abnormal liver tests, dark urine, and pale stool,” typically appear 15 to 50 days after exposure, per FDA guidance. Individuals with pre-existing health conditions or compromised immunity can face a risk of liver failure.
The company reports no illnesses tied to the recall to date. However, those suspecting they’ve consumed the affected fruit should consult their healthcare provider to determine the need for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Immediate medical attention is advised for anyone experiencing symptoms of hepatitis A.
The FDA’s notice urges customers to check their freezers for the recalled product and to discard or returned the item at the store of purchase for a complete refund. For additional questions or concerns, the Willamette Valley Fruit Co. can be reached via a hotline detailed in the notice.
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