Costco to provide free Hep A vaccination clinics after frozen berry recall

Free Hepatitus A vaccination clinics will be held at all Costco locations in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador following the recall of Nature’s Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend.

Costco attempting to track down all customers who bought Nature’s Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend

The CFIA has issued a recall for Nature's Touch Organic Cherry Berry Blend with best-before dates up to and including March 15, 2018. (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

Costco Canada is offering free vaccines to anyone who consumed frozen fruit — sold at the store — which is now the subject of a recall.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall for Nature's Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend on Friday. It's a mix sold exclusively at Costco. The recall was issued because of a possible hepatitis A contamination.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says Costco Canada is trying to contact all their members who bought the recalled frozen fruit product to tell them about the clinics. 

Free hepatitis A shots will be offered at all Costco locations in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The vaccine can be used to prevent illness if given within two weeks of a person being exposed to the virus.

Risk is low

The agency says customers should visit their health care provider immediately if they think they've been exposed.

Public Health says the overall risk to Canadians contracting hepatitis A is rare, adding that most people recover on their own. Some people can develop a more severe illness.

There are currently 14 cases of hepatitis A in three provinces: nine in Ontario, three in Quebec, and one in Newfoundland and Labrador. Those people became sick between February and March of 2016. More than half were men with an average age of 37. Three cases led to hospitalization.

Stopping the spread

The Public Health Agency says it's possible to spread the virus before any noticeable symptoms. 

If you think you may have been exposed to the virus, the Public Health Agency of Canada recommends the following to prevent the spread:

  • Washing your hands with soap and water before and after preparing and serving food and drinks.
  • Washing your hands with soap and water after using the washroom or changing diapers.
  • Sanitizing countertops, cutting boards and utensils before and after preparing food.