The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with Kroger grocery stores has issued a recall of the grocer's Private Selection brand frozen berries due to potential contamination of hepatitis A, a contagious liver disease.
The alert was distributed on June 7 after the FDA discovered the virus during sampling of the Kroger products. The products have been distributed to Kroger locations as well as other retail locations that sell Kroger-brand products.
The recall includes Kroger's Private Selection Frozen Triple Berry Medley (48-ounce and 16-ounce varieties), and the 16-ounce variety of the Private Selection Frozen Blackberries.
Kroger said in a statement that the products have been removed from its shelves, and it is alerting customers through a recall notification system that includes phone calls and alerts on receipts. "Customers who have purchased the above products should not consume them and should return them to a store for a full refund or replacement," the statement reads. Customers may also call 1-800-KROGERS for more information.
At this time, there are no reported illnesses due to consumption of the products. However, the CDC reports that symptoms can take 15 to 50 days to become present. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, nausea, abdominal discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, and jaundice. The FDA says the resulting liver infection from exposure can sometimes go undetected. When that's not the case, there's a "range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months."
As with many food-borne illnesses, individuals with weakened immune systems as well as children and the elderly are at particularly high risk of severe symptoms.
All three of the recalled items come from Townsend Farms in Oregon, which, as noted by Business Insider, has been previously linked to hepatitis A contaminations. It faced lawsuits back in 2013 after a product was believed to have been associated with 165 cases of hepatitis A, per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The FDA is working to determine if there are other products that could be impacted.