Frozen Fruit Sold at Costco Linked to Hepatitis A Outbreak

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Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding member and partner.

According to Food Safety News, an ongoing investigation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) of a foodborne illness outbreak has resulted in a recall of Nature’s Touch brand Organic Berry Cherry Blend. The recalled frozen fruit was distributed by Costco stores in several Canadian provinces. It is not known whether the organic frozen fruit was sold in the United States yet.

The recall stemmed from a series of illnesses during February and March of this year. Public health officials warned consumers to discard any frozen fruit products that they are not sure of and advised that consumers “secure the product in a plastic bag, throw it out and wash your hands with warm soapy water.”

Hepatitis A symptoms begin 15 to 50 days after exposure and can cause inflammation of the liver in some cases, according to the recall and public health warning. Symptoms include:

  • “fever;
  • loss of appetite;
  • stomach cramps;
  • jaundice — yellowing of the skin and eyes;
  • dark urine; and
  • fatigue.”

“Hepatitis A can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. You can get the Hepatitis A virus by eating contaminated food or water or through contact with an infected person’s stool,” the public health agency reported.

“If you suspect you have been exposed to the recalled product, or have symptoms consistent for Hepatitis A, see your health care provider immediately. Vaccination can prevent the onset of symptoms if given within two weeks of exposure.”

Consumers are advised to not eat any recalled products. I represent two victims of defective products that were contaminated with the Hepatitis A virus, one of whom underwent a liver transplant. Should you or someone you know have any questions about your legal rights, please feel free to contact me.

About the author:

Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. The association recently named him “Trial Lawyer of the Year”. Super Lawyers recently named him among the “Top Ten” lawyers in the Metro Area (out of more than 80,000 attorneys). He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 100″ lawyers in the entire metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as “one of Washington’s best-most honest and effective lawyers” who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile owners. His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA. Mr. Zambri has also been acknowledged as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” by Best Lawyers (2014 edition) and has been repeatedly named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyer magazine (2014) – national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.

If you have any questions about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at or call him at 202-822-1899.