September 6, 2017
CALGARY – In follow-up to the initial advisory released by Alberta Health Services (AHS) on Saturday, September 2, AHS is now warning consumers that additional Western Family brand or unbranded fruit products, sold in Alberta, may be contaminated with hepatitis A.
The current list of implicated products sold in Alberta now includes:
All of the above listed products were distributed to Save-On-Foods stores in Alberta, and had a best before date of August 19. To view additional products sold outside of Alberta, visit https://www.saveonfoods.com/product-alerts/ (scroll to bottom of page).
At this time, the risk of infection is considered to be low. Although the risk of infection is considered low, and no illnesses have been reported to date, individuals who believe they may have consumed the above noted products 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.
Hepatitis A vaccine can prevent hepatitis A infection if administered within 14 days after exposure. Individuals who consumed any of the above implicated products on August 23 or later should receive a dose of hepatitis A vaccine. Health Link can advise you on this as well.
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.
Symptoms of hepatitis A may include: tiredness; poor appetite; nausea and vomiting; abdominal pain and fever; 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 infection 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.
Anyone who develops symptoms of hepatitis A, should contact their family doctor and/or local health unit office immediately.
Please note: The investigation is ongoing and additional products and stores may be identified. This advisory will be updated if and as additional products sold in Alberta are identified. 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 myhealth.alberta.ca
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.
- 30 -
For media inquiries, contact:
Shannon M. Evans