Food News

What You Need to Know About the Fresh Strawberry Recall

These juicy red gems may be contaminated with hepatitis A, according to the FDA.

May 31, 2022
Photo by Ty Mecham

Yesterday, I went to blend a smoothie—my usual combination of bananas, pineapple, mango, dragon fruit, and strawberries—but, immediately after adding the fresh strawberries to the blender, I thought better of it and began to pluck them out one by one.

“Mom, when did I get my hep A vaccination?” I shouted from the kitchen.

“Probably when you were a baby, I don’t know. Why?” she asked me. Fair—I don’t normally ask for my medical records at 9:30pm on a holiday.

My concern was real—fresh, organic strawberries, just like the ones I was adding to my blender, are currently being recalled from numerous retailers after being linked to possible Hepatitis A contamination. The list of national retailers includes, but is not limited to, Aldi, HEB, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Market, Trader Joe's, Walmart, Weis Markets, and WinCo Foods.

When we hear about produce recalls, normally we think of salmonella or listeria, right? Recalls are always scary, but Hepatitis A feels particularly alarming because it’s so rare. So far, at least 17 hepatitis cases have been reported in California, Minnesota, and North Dakota, including 12 hospitalizations, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Upon further investigation, all of the cases reported purchasing fresh, organic strawberries (hence the recall) and occurred between March 28 and April 30.

What Is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A—sometimes abbreviated to Hep A—is a highly contagious liver infection that generally has short-term symptoms like yellow skin or eyes, lack of appetite, upset stomach, vomiting, stomach pain, fever, and diarrhea. While there is no cure for Hepatitis A, most cases disappear within a few weeks to a couple of months. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the best way to reduce your risk of infection is by getting the hepatitis A vaccination.

The CDC does not recommend booster shots for Hepatitis A in healthy adults who received the vaccine as an infant (most vaccinations are administered in children between 12 and 24 months). If you’ve consumed fresh strawberries in the last two weeks and have not been vaccinated against Hepatitis A, the FDA recommends consulting with a healthcare professional to determine if post-exposure prophylaxis (an emergency HIV medication) is needed.

If you have fresh, organic strawberries in your fridge, throw them out or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. And if you’re not sure whether or not your berries are safe to eat, I’d say throw ‘em out.

The timing couldn’t be worse—it’s nearly peak strawberry season! Let us know if you were impacted by the latest recall of fresh strawberries.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • koberman
  • Cindy Foreman
    Cindy Foreman
  • Steve
  • Kelly Vaughan
    Kelly Vaughan
Former Food52 Staff Editor


koberman June 2, 2022
I'm disappointed to read this FALSE information. Please re-read the actual details of the outbreak warning, NOT recall, and publish a clarification - instead of spreading false information about such healthy, good for us fruit. People who purchased fresh organic strawberries grown in Mexico between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022, and then froze those strawberries for later consumption should not eat them. Any fresh strawberries that are fresh and edible TODAY are perfectly edible. There is NO recall. Please update your article to tell the truth and not spread false information.
Cindy F. June 1, 2022
Made 2 batches of strawberry jam. Does the cooking and processing them kill the hepatitis?
Steve June 2, 2022
The google is your friend.
"The virus is killed by boiling at 85 degrees C (185 degrees F) for 1 minute; cooked foods can still spread the disease if they are contaminated after cooking. Adequate chlorination of water (as recommended in the United States) kills hepatitis A virus."
Steve May 31, 2022
The strawberries of concern are old. From the FDA:

"FreshKampo and HEB, purchased between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022.

Currently, the potentially affected FreshKampo and HEB products are past shelf life. People who purchased FreshKampo and HEB fresh organic strawberries between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022, and then froze those strawberries for later consumption should not eat them."
Kelly V. May 31, 2022
Some of our readers may have frozen these strawberries months ago for smoothies or ice cream (I know I did!) so it's possible that they may still have contaminated fruit on hand. I'm sure you can understand that we just want to keep everyone safe and healthy :)
Steve May 31, 2022
Absolutely. I agree. It's just until I took the time to read the FDA site and understand which strawberries were of concern, I was preparing to toss ones I bought Friday May 27.

I think including the either the text or a link to the actual FDA warning would be helpful.