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   BC Centre For Disease Control: Hepatitis A In Pineapple Chunks
by The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC)
Posted: Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at 9:02AM EDT

UPDATE: The ongoing investigation into hepatitis A virus in pineapple chunks has identified additional products that may be affected. 

The products implicated in connection with the investigation were sold at Overwaitea, Save-on-Foods and PriceSmart stores throughout BC, as well as Ferraro Foods in Trail, BC.

Additional products:

  • Fresh pineapple chunks 227g and 425g
  • Fresh peeled & cored pineapple 16oz
  • Fresh fruit salad 198g, 227g and 425g
  • Fresh citrus salad 226g

The products were Western Family brand, or unbranded, and all had a best before date of August 19, 2017. 

Information is also available under Product Alerts on the Save-On-Foods website: https://www.saveonfoods.com/product-alerts/

For ongoing updates on the impact of this matter in Alberta, please see www.ahs.ca

Vaccine is effective in preventing hepatitis A infection if the product was eaten within the last 14 days. For more about the signs and symptoms of hepatitis A, as well as how to receive free hepatitis A vaccine in your health authority, see the original news release below.

Vancouver – The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is warning consumers that Hepatitis A virus has been detected in a sample of Western Family brand fresh pineapple chunks sold in ready-to-go cups.

Current information indicates the cups were produced on August 11th and distributed to 38 Save-On-Foods, Overwaitea Foods and PriceSmart Foods stores in BC.

The fruit cups may have been on sale from August 11th and had a best before date of August 19th.

The investigation is ongoing. Other products are believed to be affected and more information will be provided as it becomes available. 

What you can do

  • Hepatitis A vaccine can prevent hepatitis A infection if given within 14 days after exposure. 
  • If you consumed this product on August 18th or later, you should receive a dose of hepatitis A vaccine.
  • If you develop symptoms of hepatitis A, contact your family doctor and local health unit office immediately.
  • Consumers who have frozen the product should discard it.

No illness has been reported to date. 

Hepatitis A is an infection caused by a virus that affects the liver. The virus is found in the stool of an infected person. It is spread when a person eats food or drinks water that has come in contact with infected stool.  Infected food handlers can pass the virus on to other people if they do not wash their hands with soap and water after using the bathroom.

Hepatitis A symptoms include yellow skin or eyes, loss of appetite, fever, tiredness, stomach ache, nausea, dark coloured urine, and light or whitish coloured bowel movements. Symptoms can also be so mild that a person may not be aware that they have the disease. Illness can last for several weeks but people generally recover completely.  Illness may be life threatening in the elderly or those with other chronic liver disease. Symptoms may develop 15-50 days after exposure.

For information about free hepatitis A vaccine in your health authority if you consumed the product within the last 14 days:

Fraser Health: http://www.fraserhealth.ca/hepAclinics

Interior Health: https://www.interiorhealth.ca/pages/default.aspx

Island Health: http://www.viha.ca/about_viha/news/news_releases/NR_HepatitisA_westernfamily_pineapple_1sept2017

Northern Health: https://www.northernhealth.ca/YourHealth/HealthAlerts/CommunicableIllnessDisease.aspx

Vancouver Coastal Health: http://www.vch.ca/about-us/news/Hep-A

A free hepatitis A vaccine can also be offered at any Overwaitea banner stores including Save-On-Foods, PriceSmart Foods, Overwaitea Foods and Urban Fare. Please contact the pharmacist at any of these stores for more information.

Information about hepatitis A and vaccine: 

https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/hepatitis-vaccine

http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/hepatitis-a

http://www.immunizebc.ca/diseases-vaccinations/hepatitis-a

Source: The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) 


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