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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been severely sickened after eating recalled strawberries, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and our food poisoning lawyers can help.

Hepatitis Outbreak Linked to Frozen Strawberries

The FDA and CDC are investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A virus infections [1] linked to frozen organic strawberries imported by a common supplier in Baja California, Mexico. Based on epidemiological data collected by the CDC, 5/5 (100%) people who provided information about what they ate before becoming ill reported eating frozen organic strawberries.

As a result of these problems, California Splendor, Inc. [2] is recalling Kirkland Signature 4-lb. bag Frozen Organic Whole Strawberries in certain states with specific lot codes (see recall notice).

Scenic Fruit [3] is recalling frozen organic strawberries with the following brand names and Best By Dates distributed to specific states:

  • Simply Nature, Organic Strawberries, Best By 06/14/2024
  • Vital Choice, Organic Strawberries, BEST BY 05/20/2024
  • Kirkland Signature, Organic Strawberries, Best If Used By 10/08/2024
  • Made With, Organic Strawberries, Best Before 11/20/2024
  • PCC Community Markets, Organic Strawberries, Best By 29/10/2024
  • Trader Joe’s, Organic Tropical Fruit Blend with the following Best By dates: 04/25/24; 05/12/24; 05/23/24; 05/30/24; 06/07/24

California Splendor supplied the recalled strawberries to Costco stores in Los Angeles and Hawaii, and to 2 San Diego business centers. Scenic Fruit supplied the strawberries to Costco, Aldi, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood, and PCC Community Markets in specific states, and to Trader Joe’s nationwide.

What’s the Problem?

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) [4] announced today that strawberries produced last month by Jaquith Strawberry Farm located in Newberg, Oregon are being recalled because they may be contaminated with Escherichia coli O157:H7.

These strawberries have been linked to an outbreak of at least 10 illnesses, one of whom was an elderly woman who succumbed to kidney failure. The affected individuals are residents of Washington, Clatsop and Multnomah counties. Another six individuals in Northwestern Oregon have also recently developed E. coli poisoning and appear to be part of a larger outbreak.

Of the confirmed cases, there were 12 females and four males ranging in age from four to 85. They fell ill between July 10 and July 29, and four of these individuals required emergency hospitalization.

"If you have any strawberries from this producer - frozen, in uncooked jam or any uncooked form - throw them out," says Paul Cieslak, M.D., from Oregon Public Health Division. Cieslak said his team has been working with county public health officials and the Oregon Department of Agriculture on tracking the infection cases.

"If someone gets sick, we ask questions about everything from what they've eaten, to whether they've been to common gatherings, to whether they've been swimming in a particular place, and then out of this we try to find commonalities," he said. "The commonality among these cases has been strawberries at roadside stands and farmers' markets supplied by this one farm last month."

Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Frozen Strawberries

An outbreak of hepatitis A linked to strawberries from Tropical Smoothies Café restaurants has sickened at least 119 people in 8 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicate that frozen strawberries imported from Egypt are the likely culprit behind the outbreak. To date, at least 47 people have been hospitalized as a result of their illness.

E. Coli Food Poisoning

E. coli is a common inhabitant of the gastrointestinal tract and is usually harmless in healthy individuals. However, Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a strain of the bacterium that produces toxins that can cause mild to severe intestinal illnesses. Signs and symptoms of E. coli food poisoning may include:

  • the sudden onset of abdominal pain and severe cramping
  • diarrhea (which may or may not be bloody)
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • bowel necrosis (tissue death)
  • hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)
  • acute kidney failure

Certain individuals - children, the elderly, and those with otherwise compromised immune systems - may develop complications that require hospitalization. Approximately five percent of infected persons suffer serious and potentially fatal kidney damage. The FDA is advising people to take the following precautions when handling uncooked produce:

  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them.
  • Keep fruits and vegetables and other raw food separated from cooked food.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap after handling raw foods, as well as before eating, after using the toilet, and after changing diapers.

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The Food Poisoning Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Jaquith Farms strawberry recall lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new E. coli food poisoning cases in all 50 states.

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