The FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) is alerting consumers to a hepatitis A virus (HAV) contamination of frozen blackberries under the Kroger grocery store “Private Selection” brand. This contamination was discovered by the FDA as a part of an ongoing frozen berry sampling assignment. The FDA is advising consumers not to eat and to throw away frozen fruit purchased from Kroger and other retail locations packaged under Kroger’s “Private Selection” brand. Here are the recalled products:
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)
These products are available at Kroger and other retail locations and have a two-year shelf life. The FDA is working with the manufacturer on this matter. This posting will be updated with new information as it becomes available. The FDA is continuing to investigate to determine whether there are other implicated products.
At this time, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are not aware of any cases of hepatitis A linked to the consumption of Kroger Private Selection brand frozen blackberries. Hepatitis A virus (HAV) 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. HAV is found in the stool and blood of people who are infected. HAV is spread when someone ingests the virus, usually through person-to-person contact or from eating contaminated food or drink. Contamination of food with the hepatitis A virus can happen at any point: growing, harvesting, processing, handling, and even after cooking.
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 until 15 to 50 days after exposure, which often makes it difficult to determine the exact exposure that led to illness. Symptoms 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. Young children may not show symptoms of HAV infection.
The FDA recommends that consumers who consumed the frozen berries listed above and have not been vaccinated for HAV consult with their healthcare professional to determine whether post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is indicated. PEP may be recommended for unvaccinated people who have been exposed to HAV in the last two weeks; those with evidence of previous hepatitis A vaccination or previous hepatitis A infection do not require PEP.
Contact your healthcare provider if you think you may have become ill from eating frozen blackberries, or if you believe that you have eaten any of the frozen blackberry products noted above within the last two weeks.
The FDA encourages consumers with questions about food safety to call 1-888-SAFEFOOD Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, or to consult http://www.fda.gov
Kroger was informed by the FDA that a sample of the Private Selection frozen berries was tested by the FDA and found to be contaminated with Hepatitis A.
Kroger is recalling the items, which the grocery store company said were distributed to all Kroger family of store banners across the country.
According to The Kroger Company, they have removed the potentially affected items from store shelves and initiated their customer recall notification system that alerts customers who may have purchased recalled products through register receipt tape messages and phone calls.
Customers who have purchased the above products should not consume them and should return them to a store for a full refund or replacement.
Customers who have questions may contact Kroger at 1-800-KROGERS Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight Eastern Standard Time, and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
According to Kroger, in rare cases, particularly consumers who have a pre-existing severe illness or are immune compromised, Hepatitis A infection can progress to liver failure. Persons who may have consumed affected product should consult with their health care professional or local health department to determine if a vaccination is appropriate, and consumers with symptoms of Hepatitis A should contact their health care professionals or the local health department immediately.
(Information from the Food and Drug Administration and The Kroger Company)