September 2, 2017
EDMONTON – Alberta Health Services 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 12 and distributed to 58 Save-On-Foods, Overwaitea Foods and PriceSmart Foods stores in Alberta and BC. In Alberta, the product was only sold at Save-On-Foods (see list of Alberta stores below).
The fruit cups may have been on sale from August 12 and had a best before date of August 19. The investigation is ongoing and additional products and stores may be identified.
At this time, the risk of infection is considered to be low. No illness has been reported to date.
Individuals who believe they may have consumed the pineapple product are encouraged to call Health Link by dialing 811. Health Link will discuss your recent history with you, and will advise on any next steps you may need to take, to monitor for symptoms or reduce risk.
Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus that is common in many parts of the developing world. Spread through the fecal-oral route, individuals primarily contract hepatitis A through direct contact with an infected person; however individuals can also contract the illness indirectly by ingestion of contaminated food or water. If an infected individual does not properly wash his/her hands after using the washroom, the virus can be transmitted through food and beverage prepared by the infected individual.
Those with symptoms of hepatitis A should not prepare food for others.
Illness can occur within 15 to 50 days after exposure to the virus, but usually within 28 to 30 days. Individuals can be infectious one to two weeks before symptoms occur until at least one week after the onset of illness.
If you develop symptoms of hepatitis A, contact your family doctor immediately. Symptoms of hepatitis A may include: tiredness; poor appetite; nausea and vomiting, and; abdominal pain and fever. It may be followed by dark-coloured urine, light-coloured stools, and yellowing of eyes and skin several days later. Some people, especially young children, may get hepatitis A without noticing any symptoms; however, they are still infectious to others.
There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A, but it can be prevented through immunization. As always, risk of transmission is reduced through the thorough washing of hands with soap and water before preparing or consuming foods.
Hepatitis A vaccine can prevent hepatitis A infection if administered within 14 days after exposure. Individuals who consumed this product on August 18 or later should receive a dose of hepatitis A vaccine.
Those uncertain whether they have been exposed to this product should call their local Save-On-Foods to discuss the product details.
Consumers who have frozen the product should discard it.
More information on hepatitis A can be found at www.myhealthalberta.ca
Alberta Save-On-Foods stores where the product was sold:
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.
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