Frozen raspberries and berry mixes that were sold at discount grocer Aldi and Raley’s Family of Fine Stores have been recalled. Government testing has shown that these berries were possibly contaminated with the hepatitis A virus. Customers who have purchased these berries should not eat them under any circumstances. Instead, they should either throw the berries out or return them to the store. When a store sells food that has been tainted with a disease, they can be legally responsible for any injuries should customers be sickened after eating the food. The attorneys at Sadaka Associates have helped people who have been injured after eating tainted food obtain the legal recovery that they were due.
Aldi’s is a German grocery chain that has been growing in the U.S. in recent years. The chain now has over 1,900 stores in this country spread out across 36 states. The grocery store has millions of loyal customers who shop at the store due to the deep discounts that it offers. Aldi’s is also known for inexpensive produce. Raley’s is a grocery store chain that operates in Northern California and Nevada. Both of these stores sell food under their own private labels that come from various suppliers. This means that food supplied by a third party is sold under the Aldi’s name. Specifically, Aldi’s private label for the frozen berries was “Season’s Choice.”
These particular berries were sold by a produce importer called Wawona Frozen Foods. In this case, Wawona imported the berries at issue from Chile. Wawona both grows and imports fresh fruit and then freezes them before selling them. The company is a major importer and producer of food.
Here, Wawona issued a voluntary recall of these berries. The company claimed that it was doing so out of an abundance of caution. There is a government sampling program that tests some of the produce. This particular test turned up possible traces of hepatitis A. Wawona then issued a recall of the entire lot. The FDA has indicated that Wawona has been fully cooperative with government requests for information about the tainted berries.
This specific product recall affects 12 ounce bags of Season’s Choice raspberries with certain expiration dates in June and August of 2021 and 16 ounce bags of Season’s Choice Berry Medley with expiration dates in July of 2021. It also affects 12 ounce bags of Raley’s Fresh Frozen Red Raspberries with expiration dates in June and August of 2021. The Aldi’s recall is not nationwide but is only in a handful of states. Customers should check to see if they live in one of the states that were impacted. The recall only affects these specific lots of the berries, Anything without these expirations dates does not present a health issue to consumers.
Hepatitis is a contagious virus whose symptoms can last from several weeks to several months, It is an inflammation of the liver that can cause liver failure in extreme cases. Unlike some other forms of the sickness, hepatitis A is not a chronic infection, but it can still be dangerous in some instances, especially when one already has a compromised immune system. One way to transmit hepatitis A is through contaminated food such as these berries.
There have been several outbreaks of hepatitis over the past 20 years in berries, In addition, some berries have been found to contain norovirus. As a result, the FDA recently instituted a testing program to protect the public from these dangers.
While cooking the berries at temperatures above 185 degrees can neutralize and remove the virus from the fruit, this does not always occur. Food can still be contaminated with the disease after cooking. Freezing does not neutralize the contaminants so if one ate these berries after thawing them, they could be at risk.
Those who have consumed the tainted berries will not know for some time whether they have contracted hepatitis A. The sickness takes between 15 and 50 days to develop. Those who have eaten these berries should vigilantly monitor their condition for any sign that they are getting sick. In addition, they should be cautious and contact their healthcare provider to see if any treatment is necessary. If they feel not well, they should immediately seek medical attention. The quicker and more extensively any case of hepatitis A can be treated an documented, the better the chance that those injured can receive compensation for their illness.
Some healthcare providers may choose to vaccinate a person who has consumed the tainted berries as a precaution against hepatitis A. Those families who have had children consume the berries should immediately consult a physician since cases of hepatitis A in children may not show any symptoms.
At the time of the recall, nobody had yet been sickened by these potentially tainted berries. However, given the incubation time for hepatitis A, there may still be some reported cases of the sickness. It will be several months before the exact impact of these berries.
Customers who have any questions about the recall should contact Wawona. In the meantime, they should remain vigilant about their health and check the expiration dates of any frozen berries that they may have purchased from either of these two stores. If customers have consumed these berries and have any questions about their legal rights, they should contact the attorneys at Sadaka Associates.