Food & Drink

Another Hepatitis A frozen-fruit recall from the same supplier. How many more to come?

For the second time in four days, a large grocery chain’s store brand had to recall a frozen berry product because FDA testing revealed supplier Townsend Farms might have a Hepatitis A problem.

And that means there might be more Hepatitis A related recalls to come.

Tuesday’s recall pulled Costco’s Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend 4-pound bags with Best By codes 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).

Costco sold these products only in Costco stores in San Diego, Los Angeles and Hawaii. This is a precautionary recall as none of these items have tested positive for Hepatitis A, unlike the sample of Private Collection brand frozen berry products Townsend made for Kroger. Those were recalled across Kroger’s vast chain Friday.

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Now, the question is how many more retail customers get their frozen berry products from Townsend?

When there’s a problem at the supplier level, the recalls can start streaming like water out a garden hose.

Last October and November, salmonella and listeria concerns at McCain Foods caused 31 recalls of products that used McCain vegetables, including prepackaged salads and frozen foods. Crackers and snack foods got recalled almost daily for a while last July after whey powder producer Associated Milk Producers found salmonella at one of its plants.

Hepatitis A’s symptoms — jaundice, fatigue, stomachaches, dark urine, light poop — can take almost two months to reveal themselves and can last a few weeks or last months. The liver disease is in the infected person’s stool, so is often passed through poor hygiene practices, especially bad hand-washing.

Those who have been vaccinated against Hepatitis A or have had Hepatitis A are safe.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.